You need to take special care to stay safe during a severe winter storm, whether you’re in your home or outside. Follow our guidelines to help you and your family make it through winter storms.
During a snowstorm, ice storm or blizzard
When there is a major winter storm warning, we recommend you only go out when absolutely necessary.
Follow our safety guidelines for your home
- Keep your 72-hour emergency kit handy.
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.
If the power goes out, follow these instructions.
How to deal with the storm when you’re outside
If you’re already outside or if you absolutely must go out:
- Use public transit if at all possible.
- Dress warmly and watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia.
- Watch for falling ice and any downed power lines.
- Avoid falls by following these tips.
If you must drive somewhere, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car and:
- Try to drive on major roads, since they’re usually cleared sooner.
- Let family or friends know your route and when you expect to arrive.
- Stay inside your vehicle even if you’re stopped because of the snow, ice or poor visibility, unless you can take shelter in a nearby building.
- When it gets dark, turn on the overhead light in your car so that you’re more visible to rescue teams. Run the engine occasionally to keep the battery charged.
- Drive safely and know what to do in case of a skid
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).
After a winter storm
- Check our snow removal page to find out when your neighbourhood will be cleared.
- Be extra careful when you go out, the roads may still be slippery.
- Consider shovelling out the safety exits for your building and check the amount of snow on the roof of your building and your car.
- If the power was out for a number of hours, check the condition of any perishable foods in the fridge and freezer.