You may not think about it, but when the temperatures start dropping, you'll need to winterize your gear. If you're not sure what we mean by that, we've got you covered. Time to go through your emergency kits, your vehicle kit, and your bug out bags, and make sure they are suitable for winter weather conditions.

Clothing is key to survival in harsh weather conditions, and if you packed your go-bag last summer, what's in it won't work for these upcoming months, so you'll need to winterize your gear, and swap out those shorts and t-shirts for some cold-weather gear like gloves, boots, and warm winter jackets. Once that is done, you'll want to swap it out again in a couple of months, when the weather shifts again. Another alternative is to have two go-bags, one for winter months and one for summer, and just put a little label on them so you know which one is which.

Unpack all of your gear and check to see if it's going to be beneficial during these winter months. If you have a sleeping bag that is lightweight, it's probably not going to help you much. You may find that you're missing a blanket, add that to your bag, just in case. Check all of your batteries in flashlights and portable radios, these items won't do you any good in an emergency if the battery is dead. Check your weapons, and make sure they are still functional, and well-maintained as well.

For your vehicle, winterizing your gear is essential. Cold weather can affect battery life, so make sure you check your battery on and off to ensure that it is still in good working condition. Check out your vehicle's emergency kit, make sure there are winter items in there now such as extra gloves, shoes, and blankets. Finally, make sure you are up to date on all of your maintenance, and have the proper tires for your area. Driving in the snow without the proper snow tires can become deadly, as can your car breaking down during a winter storm. Be prepared for the elements, and stay up to date on your vehicle maintenance.

Knowing how to winterize your gear is only part of the battle. Take the time to make sure that you and your family will be safe in the event of an emergency, especially one in inclement weather.