Soon Old Man Winter will be upon the New York area. Forecasters say that this may be a very cold winter with a great deal of precipitation. Dealing with cold weather can be annoying, but the cold in northern parts of the country can be downright deadly. I’d like to share some ways to prepare for the cold before the dead of winter sets in.


First, and especially this time of the year, it is important to dress in layers. During late October and November, the temperatures are just beginning to really drop. Some days it may be quite cool during the morning hours and rather warm in the afternoon. While you might be tempted to put on a sweater, it might be smarter to wear a cardigan over a shirt. That way you are covered at all temperatures of the day. Even as it becomes colder, wearing layers will help protect your skin from the bitter cold. It might be wise to invest in a long jacket that you can wear over your clothes for the very cold months. Be sure that your layers are loose fitting, and try to top your layers off with water/wind resistant clothing.


Next, invest in a hat and gloves. A hat is important because your your head loses heat much more quickly than other parts of the body. A scarf may also come in handy during the more bitter parts of winter. It is always important to keep the extremities of your body protected from the cold.


One should also consider purchasing a good pair of boots. Be sure to look for lined, waterproof boots. For those who are especially prone to cold temperatures, consider purchasing battery-heated socks. So that you don’t slip on icy walkways, be sure that any boots you consider purchasing have either cleats or slip-resistant soles.


Once you have prepared yourself for how to dress, make sure your home is prepared for the extreme temperatures that often come with a New York winter. Check for drafts at your doors and windows. You can easily combat this with a trip to the hardware store for new weather stripping and a door sweep. Another neat product can be applied to drafty windows. Window film can be easily applied with a hair dryer, but it will stop air leaks around your windows. Note: this will also lower your power bill.


Finally, always be cautious with space heaters. Never use extension cords with them. Space heaters that shut off should they be tipped over are the safest choice. In fact, turning off space heaters before you go to bed is always a safe bet.


While New York winters can be frightening, if you follow the tips above, you will brave the bitter winter easily.