In the winter, take extra steps to prepare your home, vehicle and family for safety and comfort.
General Emergency Preparedness
For power outages, extreme weather or other emergencies, have available at home:
- A flashlight
- A portable AM/FM radio (This may be your only link to the outside world in the event of a disaster or power outage).
- Extra batteries
- Food (non-perishable high-energy food and snacks that don’t require refrigeration, cooking or water)
- Extra medications
- Extra baby items, if there are infants or small children in the house
- First-aid supplies
- Blankets, sleeping bags, and extra clothing for warmth
Remember to charge cell phones ahead of time, especially if you know that inclement weather is expected and a power outage is possible.
Home Heating and Fire Safety
- If you have a fireplace, gather and store extra firewood in a dry-sheltered area of your home.
- Remember to have all home heating appliances (i.e. furnaces, fireplaces and woodstoves) serviced annually by a qualified technician. If burning daily, chimneys may need cleaning a few times over the winter.
- Keep blankets, curtains, furniture, pillows and other combustibles at least 10 cm from heaters, and one metre from fireplaces, woodstoves or space heaters.
- If you are using space heaters, turn them off before going to sleep or when leaving the home for any period of time. Never use your oven or stove to heat your home.
- Only use generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Generators should be placed a safe distance away from the home. Never use a generator in your garage or basement.
Winter Driving Safety
Fully winterize your vehicle, including good winter tires, before the cold weather season starts.
- Check road conditions at www.drivebc.ca.
- During extreme weather events, avoid being out on the roads, if at all possible, especially during icy conditions.
- Carry a winter storm survival kit in your car including a blanket, sleeping bag, flashlight (with extra batteries), first-aid kit, high calorie non-perishable food, bottled water, road flares, extra clothing, a small bucket of sand, waterproof matches, windshield scraper and jumper cables.
- Reduce speed as needed, to match reduced traction. Allow extra time when traveling in adverse weather conditions.
- Discuss your travel plans and routes with a family member or friend.