Any New England resident knows that winter in the Northeast rivals that of Game of Thrones’ Winterfell. Last year Boston received a record 108.6 inches of snow and experienced weeks of sub-zero temperatures. With this in mind, let’s discuss adequate preparation for the next New England winter.

The beginning of the oncoming winter is forecast to be mild for the northeastern United States, with above average temperatures and little snowfall. The second half, however, is predicted to feature several winter storms and lower temperatures. This sudden switch prompted the Weather Network to call this winter “The Tale of Two Seasons.” The mild beginning of our winter is due to the climate-based effects of El Niño, a weather system that regularly disrupts common weather patterns.

Even though this winter is supposed to have a mild beginning, it’s still important to be prepared. The most important things to have for the start of the season are a warm coat and boots, both preferably waterproof. Stock up on hand-warmers. Buy, knit, steal or barter for your own pair of gloves, a knit cap, and a scarf.

If you own a car, watch out. The first thing you need is an ice scraper to clear the car’s windshield, and the second is a dependable shovel. A large amount of snow can precipitate in only a few hours and a shovel is useful in digging out one’s car. That is, of course, if one’s car can even be found in the immense piles of snow that fell in the Waterston lot, a problem that many people encountered during the last winter season, and that kept ENC’s grounds crew busy in their valiant effort to clear it away for all of us.

On those days spent inside, it might be advisable to have a good book, or an entire series of books, for the purpose of reading the boredom away. It might also be the opportune time to binge-watch a few shows on Netflix, that is if the power doesn’t go out. In case the power does go out, keep flashlights, snacks and your cell-phone battery on high.

Besides keeping a bunch of scary stories in your head to tell in the dark, the most important thing to remember about the winter season in Boston is to observe the recommendations of local authorities, and make safety your biggest priority. No skiing down Canterbury steps or jumping into snow piles; who knows what may be hiding under there? White Walkers, maybe?