From temperatures falling below zero to freezing rain and snow, winter has always been an interesting season. However, the more interesting the season is, the more dangerous it can be for those who don’t plan for its arrival. If you live in highly affected areas like North Carolina or are traveling there, here are five ways to get ready for winter.

Do a Full Maintenance Check on the Vehicle
A full car maintenance check during winter is half the battle. Take your car to the mechanic for a full checkup as soon as the cold season knocks. This will let you know the condition of your vehicle before the temperature drops. No one wants to be stranded on the side of an icy road waiting for help.

The tires are your first line of defense during this season because they’re the only part that touches the ground. Check pressure and traction. If you live in highly affected areas, replace them with snow tires to increase traction, which will improve safety on the slippery roads. Check the pipes and hose for any cracks and tears, examine the coolant systems and replace with antifreeze to make it work smoothly when the temperature is below freezing.

Make Sure the Heater and Defroster Are Working
In cold weather, if nothing keeps your body warm, your core temperature might drop in a short period, which can be life-threatening. Moreover, apart from keeping you warm, the car heater and defroster prevent haze and frost from building up on the windshield and the windows. So. when winter is near, check the heating and defrosting system to reduce the risk of running into problems while driving.

Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is a year-round necessity, but it should be a top priority during winter because of the dangers lurking. This means when the cold season is near, make sure the kit is ready. Being stranded at the side of the road waiting for assistance during a snowstorm is no fun.

Your winter emergency kit should include:

– A first aid box
– Jumper cables
– Flashlight with working batteries
– Blankets, gloves, and coats to keep you warm when you’re stranded
– Ice scraper and brush
– Rock salt, kitty litter, and snow shovel for traction

Keep Track of Weather Forecasts
Being aware of the weather is another way to prepare your vehicle for winter. Knowing what the forecast says will let you know what’s happening on your route. It’s crucial to listen to the weatherman during the winter months. Keep up with forecasts on your radio, download weather apps on your smartphone for updated alerts, and pay attention to the local forecast.

Fill Your Car with Gas
It’s generally advised to maintain at least a half-full tank of gas during the cold season. Low fuel levels can cause more problems than you might expect. Apart from being stranded, filling your car with gas will prevent the fuel passageway from blocking due to freezing.