Indiana DHS offers tips for getting homes, vehicles ready for winter

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state Department of Homeland Security is recommending Indiana residents prepare for winter by making sure homes and vehicles are ready.

DHS spokesman John Erickson says homeowners should clean gutters to prevent clogs that can cause water to back up under the roof and eaves and lead to water damage inside. He also recommends removing dead branches from nearby trees, saying the added weight of ice and snow, along with winds, may cause limbs to damage property.

The department also recommends keeping at least two blankets or a sleeping bag in vehicles along with a flashlight and extra batteries, jumper cables, a shovel, bottled water and a cell phone and charger. Other recommended items include emergency flares, extra clothing, non-perishable food and sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction.

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