It happens to you every year, doesn’t it? That moment where you’re standing in your home one late October or early November morning marveling at the fact that the first frost or snow came so early. Let’s face it: We have a tendency to let winter sneak up on us. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re so busy celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and all of the other phenomenal occurrences that autumn brings. Maybe, instead, it’s us trying to put off the fact that winter is coming at all … or maybe we’re reaching with that one. Either way, being unprepared for the swift arrival of winter can put you and your home security presence at risk. Don’t let winter catch you with your guard down this year; make sure that you’re ready for colder temperatures, snowfall and ice accumulation with these tips:

Have the right supplies

Don’t let this year be another time when you start winter off by rushing to the store to get all of the cold weather supplies you put off purchasing. Instead, begin your fall season this year by preparing for the oncoming winter. Make a trip to the store  during late September or early October to purchase road salt, back-up fuses, snow shovels and anything else that you may need to ready yourself for the first heavy snow of the season. This way, you’ll be able to anticipate the onset of winter and react accordingly instead of scrambling to put the correct supplies together at the last minute. Also, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the weather reports as late autumn approaches. Monitoring your region’s seasonal changes can let you know when you’ll need to be ready for a cold front.

Prepare your vehicle

One of the biggest risks to your security during the winter months is having a vehicle that is poorly prepared to handle the oncoming weather conditions. While putting chains on tires is mostly a thing of the past, there are still important steps to take to ready yourself for winter. You should begin by ensuring that your car has all-season or winter tires, and that they have at least 70 percent of their original tread left from last season. Additionally, make sure that you’re starting your car regularly even if you aren’t intending on going anywhere so that the engine doesn’t stall from the cold. Lastly, you’ll want to stock your garage. This way, you won’t need to rush off to the gas station or auto body shop whenever you need vehicle supplies this winter.

Preventative actions

One of the most costly and devastating incidents that can be caused to your home by cold weather is an interior flood from burst pipes. Make sure that you have the ability to prevent this from happening by equipping your basement and first floor with freeze sensors. These devices can alert you automatically if the surrounding temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which should give you ample time to react accordingly. This technology is also perfect for families who own a second property or summer home and can’t always be on-site to monitor the residence.