As some of you know, I am no stranger to living in Missouri during the winter months.  I lived in Mid-Missouri for almost 5 years (Mexico and Columbia).  I am originally from a town that is about 40 minutes outside of Chicago.  We have seen some brutal winters, from frigid temperatures, to over 40 inches of snow.  It can make things really difficult.  You have to shovel, scrape, adjust your driving, and warm your vehicles.  Not to mention how that may affect your home life.

Well when I was in Missouri, I can recall a few things from the winter months.  The first winter I was here, we got freezing rain on two occasions, while I was living in Mexico. I was living in a apartment with no garage or covering.  You can imagine going out to find my car literally covered in 2 inches of ice.  I couldn't open the door.  Did my best to break up the ice.  The second time it happened, I was able to get my door open and start my vehicle, turned on my rear window defogger, and proceeded to try and break the ice on the back window.  I shattered it.  Then the snow began to fall.  Cost me $100 to have the window replaced.  Live and learn.

Another winter in Columbia, we had freezing rain again to the point that I had a guest who had to crash in my apartment because their vehicle couldn't get enough momentum to get up the hill in my parking lot.  Highway 70 was literally a sheet of ice and people took hours to get home when it would normally take them less than 10 minutes.  I do not recall too may issues with snow.  Normal snowfall, or at least manageable.

Now some of you own homes, some of you rent condos or apartments.  Your vehicle may or may not be covered.  These are factors that you need to think about. You do not want to deal with frozen pipes, much less a busted one.  Electric pipe heaters are good, and you may want to consider covering your pipes.  If all else fails, leave a little water dripping so ice doesn't form in the water line.

Cover the cracks by the windows, or at least make sure they are sealed.  Change the furnace filters, and if you have a space heater, make sure it is for indoor use.

Now for your cars.  Make sure you have at least a half a tank of gas at all times.  Have you battery tested, as well as your tires and brakes.  If your tires have low tread, might have to bite the bullet and get some new ones.  Make sure brake pads are solid, and always have a snow brush, scraper, and a blanket in your vehicle.  If you get stranded, the blanket will be invaluable.

Finally, if you are in a situation where travel is need for your job, give yourself some extra time, and drive carefully.  Getting to your destination safely is more important than anything else.

Hopefully this winter won't be too cold, and we won't get too much snow.  If we do, well perhaps get the kids bundled up and make a snowman!  Have a safe winter!

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