If you’re a homeowner, dealing with the potentially damaging effects of winter can seem daunting — but there are a few simple steps that will protect you. First, be sure to insulate all windows; weather stripping can lower heating bills by up to 15 percent. Slipping draft guards under your front and back doors is another excellent way to keep out the winter chill, and of course, a sturdy deadbolt is essential. A state-of-the-art home security system is not a bad idea.

Outside water lines should be turned off to prevent pipes from freezing, while indoor pipes can be wrapped with insulation. Ask your local hardware dealer which type of insulation would be right for you, and see if you can get an employee to accompany you back out into the parking lot; there’s a good chance winter has followed you. Keep pepper spray on you at all times as an added precaution.

Many people don’t realize that setting a ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise will push warm air downward. Possibly this sensation of warm, flowing air will help you feel more protected. Possibly not. But you have nothing to lose by trying. If you haven’t checked your chimney yet, do it now. Make sure winter isn’t trying to get in that way.

Don’t keep trash cans or receptacles outside during the winter months. Winter will go through your trash in an attempt to discover any personal information it can.

Clean gutters will prevent icicles and ice dams from forming, but if you haven’t cleared them by now, it may be wiser to just leave them. You waited too long, and each time you venture outdoors you’re taking an unnecessary risk.

Needless to say, do not answer any phone calls, e-mails or texts received from winter. Do not try to reason with winter. Winter suffers from sociopathic tendencies and won’t take no for an answer. Winter wants absolute control over you. Winter thinks society’s rules don’t apply to it. The best thing you can do is just ignore the winter. Don’t engage. Engaging will only encourage winter to persist in its obsessive behavior and let it think you can be won over. You can’t. You’re a summer person.

It’s possible that winter may leave unwanted gifts. If you find a large snowdrift on your front step, you may want to contact the police, but if you don’t have adequate proof it was winter that was responsible, there’s little the authorities will be able to do about it. Winter will, of course, deny everything. Winter may be emotionally unstable but is clever in many ways.

Better check the chimney again.

If you feel the need to stay one step ahead of winter — perhaps by moving to a warmer climate — do not file a change of address with the post office. Winter will have little trouble obtaining your new address, just as it had no problem hacking into your social media accounts. Your safest course of action is to hunker down in your safe, winterized home and wait this whole thing out. Eventually, winter will move on and leave you in peace, although there’s a chance it could be back next year to make your life miserable again. In the meantime, you can hope winter gets the help it needs.