This may not be our first rodeo but this is the first significant snowy and cold outbreak of the season. In this week's weatherwise, let's run through a list of things to make sure we all are as prepared as we can be for imminent change.
Montanans are no stranger to bitter cold and snow, even in early fall, but it's been a little while since harsh winter-like conditions have hit. So let's get prepared.
Probably the first thing needed is proper clothing, getting out all of the coats, hats, gloves and boots. Now we're ready to at least go outside. Secure your heat source in your home. Have your furnace inspected, your chimney swept, light the pilot lights on the heaters so they are ready to go. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Disconnect hoses outside, and insulate water lines that run along exterior walls. Inspect caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. Covering windows with plastic on the inside creates an extra air barrier to retain heat.
Check the condition of snow blowers, generators, plows or shovels.
Stock up on items such as food or specialty medicine and formulas.
Winterizing your car is important. Fill up the tank. Check your battery, engine fluid levels, and your washer fluid and make sure it's the deicing type. Get that ice scraper and snow brush out of storage. If you can get into the shop, put the snow tires on and tell them Curtis sent you. And watch that tire pressure after the cold hits. Throw the winter survival kit with blankets, flashlights, batteries, jumper cables, tow ropes, matches, snacks and a shovel in the car.
Make sure the pets are fed and warm, or bring them in. And of course, be a good neighbor and check on those that might need some help.
It's not our first rodeo, but the stampede is pulling into town.