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Getting your car ready for winter

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Winter is just around the corner, which means it's time to get your vehicle ready for the cold weather.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging motorists to put the winter car emergency kits back into their trunks for another season of winter driving. 

"October's chill is a harbinger of things to come. There is still time to do preventative maintenance before frigid winter weather swoops in unawares," said Jeffrey Boone, AAA Mid-Atlantic's Car Care Field Operations Manager. "Proper maintenance now can help you prevent much more costly repairs during winter."

Winter Car Care Checklist

•         Battery and Charging System - Have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician. A fully charged battery in good condition is required to start an engine in cold weather. 

Free Summer Fun For The Family

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) - Summer officially begins today! Now that everyone is out of school, it's time to enjoy the summer. We've put together some fun free activities the whole family can enjoy.

Monthly Events:

Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

Best & Worst Foods for Seasonal Allergies

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- This spring, tree pollen counts are among the highest they've been in the last eleven of fifteen years.  And the DC Metro area is already considered an allergy 'hot-zone.'

"It is terrible, it has been debilitating for me," says Sharon Lyons Watts, a former WUSA9 news producer.  Watts is now a stay-at- home mom with three young kids in Bethesda.  She says her family has been hit especially hard by allergy symptoms this year, especially itchy, red eyes.

Watts stocked up on over-the-counter allergy medications and eye drops.  They help block histamine, an inflammatory chemical the body releases in response to allergens.  Experts say a diet of anti-inflammatory foods can also be beneficial to help control histamine response.  But only if you eat these foods on a regular basis, not just once in a while.

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.

Don't Hire A Hurricane Huckster

BETHESDA, MD (WUSA) -- It's almost impossible to know how many trees Irene tore up. Fair to say thousands across the Mid-Atlantic. And potentially scores of homes.
What do you do if it's YOUR home?

You may want to start your work well before the storm. Tree experts say certain types of trees are especially vulnerable to high winds... and so are trees struggling to hold on to a steep hillside.

"The tulip poplars and the trees on steep grades don't have as good root system wind comes through the wrong way and just blows them out of the ground," says Craig Goebel of Colesville Lawn and Limb.