Winter Storms

Before winter hits, update your emergency plans for the following considerations:

  • Snow, rain, and ice can cause transportation challenges and increase the risk of slips and falls. Public transportation may be cancelled, and driving, walking, and cycling may be dangerous road conditions.
  • It’s easy to get cold quickly if you are outside in wet, cold, and windy weather. Exposure to cold temperatures can lead to frost bite or hypothermia.
  • There can be an increased risk of flooding due to melting snow.
  • Severe winter weather like ice, wind and snow can cause power outages. Power outages can disrupt communication, the heat in your home, and access to food and water. It’s important to be prepared to live without power for several days.

Also consider the unique requirements of your loved ones and everyone in your home, such as children, pets, and those with additional preparedness needs.

Identify a winter weather buddy.

If you or someone you know lives alone or experiences mobility challenges in winter weather, make connections to find a winter weather buddy.

Your buddy should be someone who can:

  • help with shoveling snow
  • help with running errands if you can’t leave your home

Take it up a level and make it a neighbourhood initiative through the Meet Your Street program.

During Winter Weather

  • Check weather forecasts frequently when winter arrives. Conditions can change quickly. Follow all alerts and travel advisories related to winter weather.
  • Check in with your winter weather buddy.
  • If you used anything from your emergency kit or grab-and-go bag, replace it after the weather has improved or your power is back on.
  • Dress appropriately. Winter boots with grip to prevent falls, bright colours and reflective clothing so you can be seen, and wind and water resistant layers are smart choices.

Take steps to winterize your home such as:

  • Insulate walls and attics
  • Install weather-stripping along doors and windows
  • Learn how to keep pipes from freezing
  • Have a shovel and salt ready. Remove snow from sidewalks and driveways to help reduce the chance of slips and falls

Severe winter weather like ice, wind and snow can cause power outages. It’s important to be prepared to live without power for several days.

Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter with proper maintenance.

  • Install winter tires. They provide better traction in cold temperatures and in snow, slush, and icy conditions
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full or electric vehicle half charged at all times
  • Visit Shift Into Winter for important road and vehicle safety information
  • Create a vehicle emergency kit with the following winter-specific items:
    • Windshield scraper
    • Shovel
    • Tow rope
    • Extra items to stay warm (mittens, hat, blanket)
    • Booster cables
    • Reflective triangle or clothing
    • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
    • Sand or non-clumping kitty litter for better tire traction

For additional information, familiarize yourself with the PreparedBC Winter Weather and Storm Preparedness Guide.