As fall begins, states across the U.S. are bracing for the first freeze of the 2021 season.
Average freeze dates for much of the central and southern U.S. begin in October and November, according to the Weather Channel.
With chillier weather comes health and home concerns, and preparation can be key to avoiding risks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that Americans winterize homes by insulating water lines along exterior walls, installing weather stripping and storm windows and repairing roof leaks and clearing out gutters.
The agency recommends checking heating systems and annually inspecting fireplaces and chimneys, in addition to keeping a safe alternate heating source on hand and installing a carbon monoxide detector.
People should be equipped in advance for weather-related emergencies, like power outages.
The CDC suggests preparing emergency kits for both cars and homes, including extra batteries and chargers, water and nonperishable food, flashlights and battery-powered radios, a first-aid kit and medicine, blankets, baby items, booster cables, tire chains and tire pumps, cat litter or road salt and flares.
For cars, radiators should be serviced, drivers should maintain the proper antifreeze level, the gas tank should be kept full, windshield washers should have wintertime formula and users should check the tread on tires.
Cellphones should be fully charged, and people should wear proper cold-weather gear and find shelter if a home or residence has lost its heat.
Older adults should keep an easy-to-read thermometer inside of their homes, as the ability to feel change in temperature decreases with age.
In addition, children are less able to regulate their body temperature than adults and exposure to extreme cold can lead to lower body temperatures and hypothermia.
Pets should be brought inside and provided adequate shelter and access to water.
People should dress warmly, wearing layers, hats, scarves and mittens and stay dry.
Lastly, the CDC instructs people to listen to weather forecasts regularly, use any generators and heat their homes safely and conserve heat.
The organization warns of caution while traveling or during outdoor activities, with care to avoid hypothermia or frostbite.
Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.