Courtesy of The Boston Globe – By Rob Robillard and Carol Stocker GLOBE CORRESPONDENTS  OCTOBER 2016

The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting an “ice cold & snow-filled winter” in the Northeast, so let’s button down, bundle up, and brace ourselves and our homes before the flakes fly. Winter storms in the United States caused an estimated $3.5 billion in insured losses in 2015, up from $2.6 billion in 2014, the Insurance Information Institute has reported, so we’ve compiled a to-do list to help you prepare and persevere.

 Check for loose shingles, damage from branches, and leaks around vents, skylights, and chimneys. Clean off leaves and debris.

 Carefully inspect flashing at dormers, plumbing stacks, and valleys.

 Have a flat roof? Look for blisters and bubbles.

 Trim bushes (to at least 1 foot away from the house) and trees back from roof edges.

 ILLUSTRATIONS BY RYAN HUDDLE/GLOBE STAFF