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Here's how to get your home and car ready for the cold weather

The first thing we should do is to put on those outdoor faucet covers.

PORTLAND, Ore — Temperatures are about to plummet this week and there's a chance for valley snow, not just one day but for a short stretch.

Which is why business has been picking up at Ankeny Hardware in Southeast Portland. Owner Norman Chusid said this is about as early as he's ever seen Portlanders prepare. But then again, with forecast highs in the 30s, it's not a total surprise.

Chusid said what we should all think about doing now is prepping our homes for the cold. The first thing we should do is to put on those outdoor faucet covers.

"If you're in a spot where the east wind is really blowing, get some fiberglass insulation to at the same time," said Chusid. "They're easy to put on, simple to keep your faucets from freezing outside."

RELATED: What if you get stranded? Here's what should be in your winter emergency kit

Also consider using vent blocks.

"Your vents under your house let cold air go in so you have air circulation when it gets really cold like its going to be, that can freeze your pipes," Chusid said.

After you get your home freeze proof, think about your sidewalks next.

But don't wait until the snow is already falling to put down that ice melt or rock salt

"Get that down before it gets snowy or gets icy," said Chusid. "That will stop it from building up."

"Another thing you won't want to wait on is getting you car ready for the cold," said Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon/Idaho. "The most important thing you should do now is check on your battery."

"The number one reason why people call AAA when it's cold is battery issues," said Dodds.

She added that many people don't realize that most car batteries have a life span of only about three years. So while an older battery might turn over just fine in 40 degree weather, it might not during a cold snap of below freezing temperatures.

And that's when that emergency kit, you either already have, or you'll be putting in your car soon, will come in handy. 

"Make sure you got enough water, snacks, warm clothing and all that extra stuff you should have in that emergency kit," said Dodds.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure your car has the traction it needs to get you where you need to go if it does snow. If you don't have traction tires throw a set of chains or tire socks into your trunk. And brush up on how to use them.

RELATED: East winds, very cold air arrive Thursday. Snow is possible.

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