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Now is the time to prepare your home and vehicle for the cold and snowy months ahead.

You’ll want to make sure your vehicle is outfitted with ice scrapers, check on your windshield wipers and tire pressure, among other things. You may want to avoid bad-weather driving altogether by staying home.

“Don’t wait for the snow to fall before ensuring your vehicle is safe and ready for the worst of the winter,” said Joseph H. Vicari, who is Chairman of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs.

It is also suggested to take in your hoses and turn off the water to outside taps, have a professional check your heating system, and pay attention to local weather updates.

The Department of Consumer Affairs also offered the following tips from AAA:
• Keep your gas tank at least half full.
• Avoid using cruise control on wet or icy roads.
• If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to a door handle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
• When driving on icy roads, accelerate and decelerate slowly.
• Slow down. Everything – including stopping and turning – takes longer on slick roads.
• The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
• Don’t try to power up going uphill and don’t stop if you can possibly help it. It is very difficult to get moving again when trying to climb a snow and ice-covered hill