How to stay safe during intense cold

Last updated February 2, 2023
Reading time: 1 min

During periods of intense cold it’s important to take special steps to protect yourself. Find out what you can do to make it through a cold snap.

What you can do at home

When there is a  weather alert about intense cold, we recommend that you only go out when you really need to.

Follow safety guidelines

  • Stay indoors and don’t go out unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep your 72-hour emergency kit handy.
  • Check to make sure your heating systems and smoke detectors are working.
  • Keep a close eye on back-up heating equipment and don’t use a barbecue or camp stove inside.
  • Don’t overuse heating equipment and be sure to lower the thermostat in rooms you are not using.
  • When using portable heaters or space heaters, don’t overload the electrical circuits.
  • Don’t drape wet clothing on baseboard heaters.
  • Turn on your taps and run a trickle of cold water to keep your pipes from freezing.
  • If the power goes out, follow these instructions.

How to deal with intense cold when you’re outside

If you absolutely must go out:

  • Dress warmly and watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia 
  • Move your hands and feet to keep your blood circulating
  • Keep your back to the wind as much as possible

If you must drive:  

  • Make sure you have an emergency kit in your car
  • Avoid long trips
  • Let family or friends know your route and when you expect to arrive

Stay informed and in contact with family and friends

  • Check our social media and Web sites to monitor the situation in real-time. 
  • Stay in touch with family and friends and find out how others around you are doing, especially anyone who is more at risk (such as an elderly neighbour).