How to prepare your home and car for winter weather this week

After a rainy start to January, it's time to swap out the rain jacket for winter coats as cold air moves in this week. Folks in western Washington are getting ready for the chill and the potential for lowland snow.

"Me and my husband normally stock up on firewood and try to have extra supplies just in case the power goes out," said Federal Way resident Allyson Zimmer.

"I saw on the weather that there was going to be snow coming this weekend so I told everyone to get prepared and make sure our stuff is out and ready to go," said Mclendon Hardware assistant manager Adam Andrews.

RELATED: Next Weekend: Freezing Temperatures and Lowland Snow Chances

Andrews said de-icers, snow shovels, and windshield washer fluid sell out fast during winter weather conditions, so it's best to get them sooner than later.

What you need to do for your car, particularly if you're going through mountain areas:

  • As temperatures drop, so will your tire pressures. AAA recommends checking tire inflation pressure on all four tires and the spare.
  • Carry an emergency road kit in case your car breaks down.
  • Have a sturdy ice scraper and brush
  • Keep an extra pair of gloves, hats and blankets in the car.
  • Keep a small shovel handy in case you need to dig yourself out.
  • It's also helpful to keep a first aid kit and extra water in the car.

Andrews also recommends protecting your plumbing with faucet covers and pipe insulation before freezing temperatures arrive— it will save you trouble and money later on. You can do this by opening your cupboards to allow warm air in or buy anti-freeze protectors.

"It's very important because if it freezes, that copper pipe will burst and you're going to have lots of water issues and will have to get a plumber to come out and take care of it," said Andrews.

The cold weather is not going away anytime soon. Long-range forecasts point at a good chance Washington state will see below-average temperatures through the rest of the month.