Staying safe in a snowstorm: How to prepare

2 min.

Winter storms have a way of keeping us on our toes! At their worst, you can expect a few nuisances, such as freezing rain, heavy winds and extreme cold. But if you follow these tips, you can make the best of the bad weather.

1. Keep an eye on the state of your home during the snowstorm

  • Your home is likely your most precious asset. It keeps you out of the elements and stands up to the cold—granted that you take care of it before, during and after.
  • Leading up to a winter storm, pay attention to the state of your roof, windows and entryways: the cost of preventative maintenance is far lower than the cost of a claim.
  • Put away outdoor objects that are liable to become projectiles in violent winds.
  • Salt your driveway and stairs to avoid falls.
  • A temporary car shelter is highly recommended. Be sure to regularly clear it of snow and check that it’s structurally sound and watertight throughout the winter. If the meteorologist calls for heavy winds, make sure it’s properly closed to stop it from flying away.
  • Too much snow or ice on your roof can damage its structure and cause leaks. Follow our advice for preventing potential damage.

2. If driving, plan ahead

  • Do you absolutely have to go somewhere in your car? Before taking the wheel, check the weather forecast.
  • Prepare your vehicle for this adventure: first thing’s first, carefully clear the snow off it; visibility is limited in a mobile igloo! Also, check the level of your windshield washer fluid.
  • Plan your course and adapt your driving to the current driving conditions. Nobody will mind if you’re a little late!
  • If you’re travelling far, inform a loved one of your itinerary and pack your vehicle with the essentials in case of an emergency.
  • Stay safe this season and make sure your vehicle is winter-ready.

3. Avoiding the worst when the power goes out

  • Unfortunately, winter storms often go hand-in-hand with power outages. Provoked by violent winds, equipment or trees weighed down by heavy snow can sometimes come into contact with the power grid. Have you checked out our advice on how to prepare for a power outage?
  • Stock up on batteries, flashlights and devices to charge your essential electronics. That way, you can contact your loved ones if you need to.
  • Check the contents of your 72-hour emergency kit and add any missing items.
  • Auxiliary heaters or lights, gas-powered generators, barbecues, and camp stoves must never be used indoors when the power goes out. Beware of the noxious effects of carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless gas.
  • To keep your food fresh, avoid opening your fridge and freezer too often.
  • In the event of a prolonged outage, store your perishable food items in coolers outside.
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food and water on hand.

4. Taking care of yourself during a snowstorm

  • If possible, avoid going in to the office and notify your employer that you will be working from home for the day.
  • The cold can have a negative effect on your health. If you need some fresh air, dress warm, keep dry and don’t stay out long.
  • Do your grocery shopping the day before the storm. That way, you can cook and eat what you like, without having to confront Mother Nature at her worst.
  • Be sure to have enough of each of your family members’ prescription medication on hand.
  • This period of involuntary seclusion is the perfect opportunity to binge that series you just started!

5. Playing the hand you’re dealt

  • Snowstorms happen often in the winter, but don’t forget that nice weather is right around the corner, bringing all your favourite outdoor activities! The snow is the ideal playground for children of all ages.
  • What’s more, this temporary confinement could be the chance you were waiting for to get the whole family involved in deep cleaning your home!
  • Now you can turn each “storm of the century” into a moment you’ll never forget—for all the right reasons!

Need advice?

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re wanting to shop around for new home insurance. One of our insurance agents will be happy to assist you and answer all your questions.

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