Weather Emergencies - Winter

    Be Winter Wise

Severe Winter Storm

Severe winter storms can cause widespread damage and disruption and could leave our communities in isolation.  

Bitter cold and severe winter storms kill more than 100 people in Canada every year. That is more than the number of Canadians killed by tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, floods, hurricanes and heat waves combined.

Be prepared for heavy snowfall and fierce winds that could result in dangerous road conditions preventing everyday travel. And learn how to stay warm during an ice storm that could sever power in your community for several days.

Winter Power Failures

An interruption can last from a few hours to several days.  While all efforts will be made to restore power as quickly as possible, severe weather conditions can greatly delay the process. 

  • Make sure your personal emergency preparedness kit is complete and well stocked
  • Prepare a portable preparedness kit in case of evacuation
  • Turn off/unplug electrical appliances to avoid a fire when the power is restored
  • (keep a radio or light on so that you will know when power has been restored)
  • Make sure you are extra careful if you are using candles…..flash lights are a better choice. 
  • Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector. If it is hard-wired to the house's electrical supply, ensure it has a battery-powered back-up. To learn more about carbon monoxide, click here.
  • Keep appliance vents clear of snow and ice. Drifting snow may block appliance intake and exhaust vents. If a vent is obstructed, the appliance may malfunction or create a build-up of carbon monoxide. 

 Use of home generators

Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of an outage, but must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. A back-up generator may only be connected to your home's electrical system through an approved transfer panel and switch that has been installed by a qualified electrician. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet as serious injury can result when the current produced by the home generator is fed back into the electrical lines, and transformed to a higher voltage. This can endanger the lives of utility employees working to restore the power. (getprepared.gc.ca) 


 


 

General Advice

Specific Emergencies

 

Special Considerations

Other Resources

 

Weather Alerts


Warning - Issued when severe weather is either imminent or occurring. Severe thunderstorm warnings, by their nature, will be issued less than one hour in advance. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings may be issued specifically for smaller warning or "sub-regions" within the regular forecast area where available.

Watch - Issued when conditions are favourable for the development of severe weather. Watches are typically issued for local-scale events in which the timing and location of occurrence remains uncertain; such as severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. A watch is normally issued several hours in advance. A watch issued for severe summer storms is typically issued up to six hours in advance. 

Special Weather Statement/ Advisory -   Issued in a freestyle format for weather events that are unusual, cause general inconvenience or public concern and cannot adequately be described in a public weather forecast. A Special Weather Statement may also be issued to indicate any potentially hazardous situation in the long term forecast. 

Environment Canada
 Watches/Warnings

 

 

     

     




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