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5 Things to Do Now to Prepare for Winter

Add these tips to your checklist and you'll be all ready for winter.

A cozy crackling fire gets us in a winter mood. 

Jodie Johnson / Stocksy
  1. Check your chimney. A crackling fire creates coziness. But before you start one, scan your hearth. "Fireplaces can burn at up to 2,000 degrees, so you want to ensure there's nothing in yours that shouldn't burn," says Erica Ogle of home concierge service Househappy. The company offers chimney maintenance; AAA members get 5 percent off work up to $500. Visit AAA.com/househappy.

  2. Winterize your car's emergency kit. Stash an ice scraper, snow shovel, and snow brush in the trunk near all the gear you usually carry: tools, flares, jumper cables, and a flashlight with batteries. A box of nonclumping kitty litter can come in handy, too, if your tires get stuck in snow. (Trust us, it works!)

  3. Do your part. More than 40 million people in the United States—one-third of them children—don't have reliable access to nutritious food. To help feed a child in need this holiday season, go to feedingamerica.org.

  4. Don't forget your flu shot. Vaccination can cut your risk by 40 to 60 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Sniffles season starts in October, so if you haven't gotten a jab yet, visit your doctor or your local pharmacy.

  5. Get your hike on. Skip the deal-mad crowds at the mall on Nov. 29 and #OptOutside. In honor of "Green Friday," the Oregon and Washington state parks are offering the ultimate deal: free admission for you and your car.

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