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With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the holiday season nearly in full swing, snow and ice will be arriving in Tompkins County soon enough. Want to be better prepared for this winter? Meteorologists predict that the temperatures will be slightly higher than average, but there will be plenty of snow and ice.

During the month of December, the high temperatures are predicted to be higher than average at the beginning of the month, will drop to below average mid-month, and rise back up to above normal to finish off 2018.

In January of 2019, the temperatures are predicted to rise above and fall below the average high temperatures throughout the whole month, and there's a chance of snow nearly every day in January. With warmer daytime temps rising above average and hitting below average at night, there's likely to be a lot of ice due to the melting snow refreezing overnight.

While Tompkins County should have plenty of pleasant days during the start of winter and a new year, it's important to consider ways to stay safer during the cold season.

Winterize Your Home

Even if the temperatures are predicted to be warmer than average this winter, there will still be plenty of snow and ice. One way to stay safe and warm during a Lansing winter is to winterize your home.

If you live in an older home that is not as energy-efficient, make sure to add extra insulation where needed and consider weather stripping and storm windows. Insulating your water lines that run along the outside walls of your home can help prevent your pipes from bursting.

In addition to ensuring that your roof is free of leaks and that your gutters are clean, always make sure your furnace (or primary heat source) is working properly. Don't forget to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Winter

Whether you're planning on traveling for the holidays or just planning to drive your car to work and other daily activities, it's important to get your car checked out to make sure all fluids are topped off, your tires have good tread, and your vehicle is winter-ready.

Don't forget to store a winter emergency kit in your car, especially when traveling long distances. Before you travel, always make sure you check the weather forecast and try to avoid traveling during snow or ice storms.

Safety Outdoors

Outdoor accidents are common during the winter months, which can result in strains, sprains, fractures, and even traumatic brain injuries. Even if you walk carefully and pay attention to where you're walking, ice can be hard to see.

To stay safest, whether taking the dog for a walk or enjoying the snow with your family, always wear winter boots with good tread. It's also essential to wear weather-appropriate clothing, which include light layers that are waterproof.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for making sure that you clear the snow and ice from your sidewalk as best as possible. Sand or salt icy areas and provide adequate outdoor lighting if possible.

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