By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It happens every year – the first storm of the season arrives, and a significant percentage of us forget everything we knew about how to deal with it.

Why? Hey, it’s Massachusetts – you might as well ask why we drink iced coffee year-round.

Related: Keller’s Basic Rules For Safe Driving

But as a public service, I offer a refresher course on the basics of dealing with winter weather:

As every New Englander knows, you’ve got to dress properly for your battle with the elements.

Sturdy boots that can wade through anything are a must. I also wear mine when I cover political speeches. You don’t want to step in what those leave behind with your good dress shoes!

This is also time to break out the old parka. Pro tip: do not eat the mints you find left in your parka pockets from last winter.

Warm gloves are a necessity of course. And when it comes to a winter hat, I like something that covers my neck and ears as well as my head. If you’re worried about style, a New England winter is no place for you.

Now we’re ready to check our winter-fighting tools. Shovels do the job, but shoveling can be tiring. Snowblowers make it easy, but better have a shovel handy in case they get balky. Pick your poison.

Once you’ve shoveled out, you’ll need a scraper to remove the glacier from your vehicle windows. This is no problem, unless you drive one of those behemoth vehicles with a five- foot ground clearance, in which case a stepladder comes in handy.

OK, you’ve shoveled and scraped, but what if we get a deep freeze? You’ll need to fight the onset of the ice age with some kind of ice melt, which I hope isn’t too bad for the environment.

Finally, the secret to safe driving in wintry weather is your brake pedal. Hopefully, you know where to locate it. Press down on it with your foot and it will slow your car down and help avoid skidding and crashing. Really!

Jon Keller