Chicago prepares for Old Man Winter

A big change in the weather is serving as a big reminder to get ready for winter.

The city says it has new plows and plenty of salt, and Metra is inspecting train switches susceptible to the cold.

Winter is no joke in Chicago, which is why we need to be preparing, starting with our cars.

"Tires and batteries are the two biggest reasons that we come to the rescue of people this winter,” said Beth Mosher.

Mosher of the AAA motor club says they recommend a battery check if it's more than three years old. The older your battery, the more likely it'll die in the cold.

And check the tread and air pressure in your tires using the recommended air pressure guide found on the sticker inside the driver-side door.

"You want to make sure you have an emergency kit in your car that contains a battery operated cellphone charger, a flashlight, blankets, plenty of warm weather gear,” Mosher said.

The city of Chicago is also urging residents to prepare for this week's plunging temperatures. Twenty new plow trucks have been added to the city's fleet of over 300.

Streets and Sanitation says it has 374-thousand tons of road salt stationed at piles across the city, which should be plenty to get through the winter.

Metra on Tuesday showed off its new communications center. Metra says it has also inspected the hundreds of heaters that keep the track switches clear during winter storms.

"That's our biggest vulnerability. So we have heaters there to try to eliminate and prevent snow from every building up on there,” said Jim Derwinski.