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Severe Winter Weather

Severe Winter Weather

Severe winter weather includes ice storms, blizzards, extreme cold, and other severe winter storms that pose a threat to life, property, or the environment. These types of incidents can result in extended power outages, dangerous road conditions, and extreme temperatures.

There are many ways to prepare you and your family for severe winter weather. Here are a few tips:

Before the storm hits

  • Check and restock your 72 hour emergency kit; make sure you have extra blankets, batteries, food, etc. ready to go before the storm hits.
  • Plan to be without electricity - and heat - for 72 hours
  • Expect stores to be busy - buy emergency supplies in advance
  • Winterize your vehicle - ensure you have snow tires installed well in advance of the winter storm season
  • Make a communications plan for your family - how are you going to get in contact with each other if you’re away from home when the storm hits? How are you going to get everyone home?
  • Make a plan to check in with neighbours, family, friends and anyone else who may need your help or whose help you may need.
  • Prepare a plan to help your family evacuate if needed.

During the storm

  • Keep warm; change out of wet clothing, wear multiple layers, keep plenty of blankets available.
  • Stay indoors; Shelter-in-Place unless advised otherwise.
  • Use your 72 hour emergency kit.
  • Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you must drive, keep on main roads and avoid unplowed side roads.
  • Do NOT use propane stoves or barbecues indoors. They release deadly carbon monoxide fumes when used indoors.
  • Bring pets indoors and ensure they are dry.
  • Consult safety manual when using space heaters - keep heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and curtains.
  • Check in with neighbours, family, and friends.
  • Evacuate if necessary or if advised to do so from officials.

After the storm

  • If power in your home remains out beyond 72 hours, consider going to an emergency shelter (if available) or staying with friends and family.
  • Consult your utility company before reconnecting power and gas.
  • Check in with neighbours, family, and friends.
  • Safely begin to clear debris around your property - fallen tree branches, shovel snow, etc.
  • Keep away from any fallen power lines and do not attempt to remove debris near or on power lines.
  • Check with your local waste department for debris collection schedules.

More information

For more information on how to prepare you and your family for severe winter weather check out the following:

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Emergency Preparedness Tips