Winter Storm and Extreme Cold

In winter, weather events may be of surprising intensity or duration. Abundant snowfall or freezing rain lasting several days, heavy blizzards and severe wind chill factors pose risks to individuals and property, and may cause interruptions to essential services or activities in the community.

There are certain steps you can take to reduce hazards during a winter storm.

At the first sign of freezing:

  • Inspect the condition of your heating system and roofing;
  • Have sufficient fuel on hand;
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector if you use a combustion heating system;
  • Have your chimney cleaned;
  • Cut down dead tree branches on your property;
  • Secure objects that may blow away;
  • Ensure that your home is properly insulated; and
  • Protect exposed water pipes from freezing.

Prepare for a winter storm or extreme cold warning

If a winter storm or extreme cold is forecast:

  • Make sure you have sufficient food and water, and enough fuel;
  • Have adequate supplies of prescription drugs on hand;
  • Take weather warnings into account when planning activities; and
  • Remove snow from your roof, or have it removed, if necessary.

Take precautions during a winter storm or extreme cold

Follow certain safety rules:

  • Avoid all unnecessary travel and postpone non-essential appointments;
  • Call vulnerable individuals who are close to you to ensure their well-being;
  • Use wood heating (in French only) carefully and constantly monitor the fireplace;
  • Make sure that the chimney outlet is not blocked by accumulated snow;
  • Alert your municipality to any situation that requires the intervention of municipal services (burst water main, branches in the road, etc.); and
  • Listen to the media for instructions from authorities and for information about service interruptions or special services available to you.

Source and reference for further information: Urgence Québec – Winter storms and extreme cold

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