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Winter is Coming – Are You Ready?family eating outside under lights

Living in the north has its advantages: foliage in the fall; cherry blossoms in the spring; and the warm, sunny summers to name a few. Unfortunately, the bitter cold and heavy snow of winter also comes with the territory. Here are few tips to help you prepare for Old Man Winter.

Stock up on the necessities – Salt, snow shovels, snow blowers – these are all things you should have ready before you need them. If you wait, you’ll likely run into shortages and higher prices. It’s also a good idea to keep them handy for easy access during or after a heavy snow.

Prepare an emergency kit – An emergency kit is the best way to help you through a winter storm that has the potential to knock out your electricity. Include things like: flashlights; a radio; extra batteries; bottled water; snacks and other foods that don’t require refrigeration; and a cell phone with a portable charger. And remember – if you use a generator during an outage, never use it indoors. Gas-powered generators release deadly, and odorless, carbon monoxide.

Care for your chimney – Generators aren’t the only potential source of carbon monoxide. If you use your fireplace, inspect your chimney every year to make sure it is free of anything that can block the exhaust. While you’re at it, check and/or replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, too!

Inspect your furnace – Before the cold weather arrives, you should have a heating and cooling contractor inspect your furnace. But there are also some things you can do yourself, like: changing the furnace filters regularly; stocking up on filters during the warmer months; making sure the area around your furnace is clear; and keeping your air ducts and return vents unobstructed.

Being prepared shouldn’t be an afterthought – FirstEnergy can help! We offer a wide array of products and services – from furnace filters, to heating and cooling maintenance and protection plans. As they say – hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Explore this site to find the right products and services to keep you ready for anything winter has in store for you.