5 Safety Tips for Conquering Canada’s Worst Winter Storms
Gear up for the nastiest weather that winter can throw at you by making like a boy scout and being prepared for storms with these five tips:
1. Know the alert lingo.
Environment Canada issues public notifications when severe weather is likely, but you can’t prepare if you don’t know what each type of alert means. A special weather statement is the least urgent, letting you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concerns. Advisories are for specific weather forecasts — like blowing snow and freezing drizzle — that are less severe but could have significant impacts. Watches indicate conditions that are favorable for a storm or severe weather that could cause safety concerns. Finally, warnings are urgent messages that severe weather is either occurring or will occur.
2. Supply kit basics.
Keep an emergency supply kit on hand with a first-aid kit, a three-day supply per person of water and non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, medications, cell phone chargers, radio, cash, personal hygiene and sanitation items, multipurpose tool, emergency contacts list, snow removing equipment, and warm clothing and blankets for people and pets.
3. Secure your home and loved ones.
Make sure all loved ones are accounted for and tune in to the radio and social media for updates. Plan low-tech activities for entertainment, like cards and books. Prevent pipes from freezing by running water at a trickle and keeping your thermostat set to the same temperature night and day.
4. Winterize your home and vehicle.
The best defense against winter storms is a good offence, so weather-strip doors and windows, install storm covers, and insulate pipes at home. Make sure your car is in good working order and equipped with a full tank, winter tires, and an emergency kit. Before going anywhere, monitor transportation authorities’ reports on road closures to see if and where you can safely drive.
5. Have a backup power source.
You don’t have to fear power outages if you have a portable or standby propane generator — the former can provide electricity for a few hours while the latter can generate power for several days. Some standby generators even come with a transfer switch that only uses generator power when the electricity goes off. Ensure propane appliances are well-ventilated and maintained and install carbon monoxide detectors. Never worry about being caught without propane during a snowstorm by signing up for Superior Propane’s Smart Tank text and email alerts that let you know when your tank is running low and automatically schedules a delivery.