As much as you might wish winter would go away, it's here to stay. So you might as well make sure you're prepared for when the next big snowstorm hits.
New York City is expected to get as much as 2 inches of snow by Friday morning, and while that may only cause some headaches for commuters, the storm is a good reminder to check your emergency kits and make sure you have batteries.
Scroll down for tips on how to best prepare before a storm.
Power outage hacks:
-- Turn the temperature down in your refrigerator and freezer before a big storm hits. If you should lose power, the lowered temperature will keep your perishable food cold for a longer amount of time. You should also try to avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer for long periods of time.
-- If your power is out for a while and you're starting to question the quality of the food in your freezer, The Weather Channel suggests a simple trick using a mason jar. Before a big storm, fill a mason jar with water and food coloring and freeze it horizontally, then turn it vertically. If the ice defrosts and the shape of the ice changes, your frozen food is likely no longer safe to eat.
-- Have batteries laying around but they're the wrong size for your flashlight? Place a small amount of tinfoil in between the battery and the contact points inside the device as a short-term fix when you're in a pinch, The Weather Channel suggests.
Charge cell phone batteries:
In the event you lose power, it is important that you have a full cell phone battery to make emergency calls and to find out up-to-date information on the storm.
Prepare a "go" bag:
The city suggests that each person in your home have his or her own bag to grab if you need to leave in a hurry. Each bag should contain copies of important documents, including birth certificates, insurance cards and deeds, as well as extra sets of car and house keys, cash, copies of credit and debit cards, bottled water, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, medications list, first aid kit and toiletries. For even more go bag suggestions, visit nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.page.
Put together a disaster kit:
Similar to the "go" bag, you should be prepared with enough food, water and other items to last at least three days. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes suggests you should plan for one gallon of water per person per day and to stock up on non-perishable food items. Other items to include in your disaster kit include: cash, a battery-powered radio, blankets and pillows, first aid kit, toiletries, children’s toys and pet care items.
Prepare your pets:
Don’t forget about your furry friends! You can make a "go" bag and/or emergency kit for your pet just as you would for a child. The city suggests you include a current color photo of you and your pet together (in the event you are separated), medical records with vaccination dates, proof of ownership, a physical description of your pet, an animal first aid kit with flea and tick medication, three days’ worth of food and water and more. For a full list of suggestions, visit nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.
Write a home inventory:
Create a list of personal property that can be used if you suffer losses during a storm and need to file an insurance claim. Be sure to list all of your furnishings, clothing and valuables, and include descriptions and photographs of all property.
Bring in lawn furniture:
City officials are urging residents to bring in any loose objects that could pose a danger in high winds. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans and other outdoor ornaments.
Anchor objects outside:
For items that are not safe to bring inside, such as a large barbecue, the city suggests that you anchor down objects so that they don’t become a safety hazard during a storm.
Know your flood risk:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website offers a tool that allows you to plug in your address to find out your risk of flooding during major storms. For more information, visit region2coastal.com.
Move valuable items from basements:
Be proactive about reducing your losses in the event that your home suffers damage due to flooding by bringing all valuables out of the basement.