Winter storms are on the way, but are you ready? If you aren’t prepared for the winter and what it may bring, consider last winter. Were you ready for such a long and harsh cold season? If not, get ready for this year’s winter storms with a few tips.
Know your warnings and know what to expect to help you prepare. Here are the three most commons warnings you will see.
A “winter storm watch” is when the experts are keeping an eye on a potential storm that could happen within the next 48-60 hours.
A “winter storm warning” is a combination of hazardous winter conditions that has begun, or will begin within 12-14 hours.
A “blizzard warning” is issued with winds of 40 km/h or more, reduction in visibility to less than 1 km due to blowing snow with a low wind-chills expected to last 4 or more hours.
To stay safe:
Winterize your vehicles
Keep gas tanks full and have extra gas cans ready
Insulate your home
Maintain all electrical and heating equipment
Clean chimneys and ensure they are in working order
Make sure you have a supply kit that includes the following items:
A 3-day supply of water, or one gallon a day per person in your home.
A 3 day supply of non-perishable food items.
Flashlight and oil burning lantern.
Extra batteries and oil
First aid kit
Any needed medications- at least a one week supply.
Personal items, like glasses, contact lenses, and other such necessities.
Hygiene and toiletry items that will last at least a week
Copies of personal documents, such as your license, birth certificate, and insurance cards.
Chargers for electronics
Emergency contact information
If you have a baby, make sure you have a one week supply of everything they will need, like formula, food, and diapers.
If you have a pet, make sure they have food, water, and their tags and shot records.
Non-clumping litter to sprinkle on slippery walkways.
Warm clothing and blankets for all members in the family.
To stay your safest:
Heed all winter weather reports and stay up-to-date on them.
Keep water running a little bit during very cold nights so that pipes don’t freeze.
Make sure all flames from fireplaces and wood burning stoves are kept contained.
Keep kids away from flames of heating items.
Make sure your electrical equipment is secure and not faulty. Faulty equipment leads to house fires, which tend to happen more in the winter because of the use of heating equipment.
Know where public shelters are and have an escape plan should you need to go to one.
Stay off the roads in bad weather, unless it is an emergency.
Stay inside in very cold conditions, but if you must go outside make sure you wear clothing that is meant to keep you warm.
Install fire and carbon dioxide detectors in your home.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!