CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Now is a great time to get ready for what Old Man Winter may throw at us this season.

Last winter brought two significant snows and a few bouts of icy weather to the Tennessee Valley.

Following these steps will help you prepare before the storms strike:

Primary concerns are loss of heat, power and telephone service, and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. Have available:

•Flashlight and extra batteries
•Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio
•Emergency information--these may be your only links to the outside
•Extra food and water
•Energy food such as dried fruit, nuts, and granola bars, and food requiring
  no cooking or refrigeration
•Extra medicine and baby items
•First-aid supplies
•Heating fuel--empty fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
•Emergency heat source such as a wood stove or space heater--use properly to prevent a
fire and ventilate properly
•Fire extinguisher and smoke alarm--test once a month to ensure they work properly
•Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter

In Vehicles

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize before the winter season begins. Carry a WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT:

• Mobile phone, charger, batteries
• Blankets/sleeping bags
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• First-aid kit
• Knife
• High-calorie, non-perishable food
• Extra clothing to keep dry
• Large empty can to use as emergency toilet. Tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
• Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
• Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
• Shovel
• Windshield scraper and brush
• Tool kit
• Tow rope
• Battery booster cables
• Water container
• Compass and road maps
•Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines
•Avoid traveling alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

On the Farm/Pets

•Move animals to sheltered areas
•Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters such as sheds.
•Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas
•Have water available
•Make sure pets have plenty of food, water, and shelter. 

Dress for the season

•Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers. Trapped air insulates.
•Remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill
•Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded
•Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss can be from the head.
•Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold
•Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves
•Try to stay dry