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Winter Solstice

BOSTON (CBS) - Well it's here. December 21st. The winter solstice. And if we lived in New Zealand it would be the summer solstice. It will be a very short day with just a little over nine hours of sunlight.

According to the Farmer's Almanac, this is the earliest winter since 1896. It arrived at 6:12 this morning. I'm not sure we should celebrate the first day of winter. It's winter and if it didn't have Christmas in it, I would personally ban winter. I don't play in the snow anymore.

So that said I thought we should at least think about what we need do to get ready for any kind of a winter emergency. We do live in the Northeast and it is the beginning of winter. I have no idea what weather we will have for the next couple of months, I just know we'll have some.

So when you are out shopping for Christmas gifts this weekend make sure you have the things you might need for a winter emergency. What happens if you lose power for days? Do you have nonperishable food, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, candles and firewood if you have a fireplace?

An emergency car kit for someone you love would make a very practical Christmas gift.

I found some already put together such as the AAA Emergency Road Kit, which you can get on Amazon for around $25. It comes in a storage bag and includes a booster cable, flashlight with batteries, emergency poncho, safety vest, duct tape, screwdriver, fuses, shop cloth, and a first aid kit. But you can put together one yourself and include a few more things. Maybe even a membership to Triple A.

Make sure when you travel you have a cell phone, a car charger, a fire extinguisher, flares, a tire gauge, a disposable flash camera, a cell phone camera will also work, $20 in small bills and change, a pen and paper.

And for winter driving include a windshield snow scraper, small folding shovel, bag of kitty litter, a blanket and warm hat, tire chains, pair of old boots and some water and nonperishable food for long trips.

You can tell me you won't need these things just commuting to work, but not long ago I had left WBZ midday with a snowstorm predicted and spent close to 9 hours getting home. A ride that normally takes one hour. I was stuck on the Mass Turnpike and then on 495 and was very thankful for my bottled water and power bars and a Christmas gift of fudge from Anthony's wife.


You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

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