General News

Be ready for winter storm activity

January 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It is winter in Ontario, and that means a snowstorm can happen with very little notice.

Winter storms kill more Canadians than tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, floods, and hurricanes combined.

If a sudden weather event happens, you should be prepared to get through it by taking measures before a storm happens.

Keep a supply of non-perishable food on hand at all times – enough to last for three days.

Make an emergency preparedness kit in case of a power outage or winter conditions that prevent you from leaving home. The kit should contain a flashlight(s), water, non-perishable food, extra blankets, and warm clothes.

Prior to the season, you can winterize your home to help retain heat if the power goes out.

Insulate walls and attics, caulk or weather-strip doors and windows, install storm windows, and shut off your outdoor water or insulate your outdoor pipes.

Having your heating equipment cleaned and inspected once a year will help avoid failures when you need it most.

Stock up on salt to prevent falls on your driveway or sidewalk.

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in good working order.

You should avoid unnecessary travel during severe winter weather, but if you do have to leave home, wear layers of lightweight clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat – preferably one that covers your ears.

Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to keep from slipping on ice and snow.

Regularly check for frostbite. This includes numbness in white areas on your face and body. Ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet are particularly susceptible to frostbite.

Avoid over-exertion when shovelling snow by taking frequent breaks.

Fire safety is of great importance during winter storms.

Ensure your home has battery-operating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as a backup to hard-wired devices.

Only use propane and charcoal barbecues outdoors. Never use them indoors, as this is a carbon monoxide poisoning risk.

Only use portable space heaters designed for indoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

During a power outage, ensure electric stove elements and small appliances are off or unplugged to prevent fires when the power is restored.

Preparing before a winter storm hits will provide you with the best chance of getting through it and keeping you and your family safe.

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