According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, southern Ontario is in for a cold, wet winter with plenty of rain and snow. Are you ready? We just had our first taste, but what are you going to do if we get hit harder than that?
Even though we go through nearly five months of gray, chilly winter weather every year, many people are often caught off guard by the first big snowstorm of the season, so we’re sharing a few tips to ensure you’re prepared for a storm of any size, from a few flakes to a whiteout that traps you indoors.
Have a supply kit
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Many hazards come with a snowstorm. Your walkway can ice over, you can get snowed in, you can lose power - a bad storm can be beautiful, but dangerous. You should put together two supply kits, one for your home and one for your car. The kit should include essentials like first aid materials, canned food (and an opener), bottled water, a flashlight, any medication you or your family members may need, and blankets. We hope you never have to use this supply kit, but it’s still a good idea to have it.
Make sure doors and windows are sealed
If temperatures drop, you want to prevent any cold air from getting in and your warm air from escaping. Do a thorough walkaround your home and seal any cracks. It’s a bit late in the year to invest in new windows and doors, but you can take other preventative and temporary measures like caulking air leaks.
Organize your garage
If there’s a big storm in the forecast, you’ll likely want to store your car in your garage, but first, you need to make sure there’s enough room! Temperatures are already hovering around 0 degrees celsius and dropping below in the mornings and evenings. Your garage is usually the coldest place in your home, so you should get it organized before it gets even colder. While organizing your garage, make a list of to-dos for your car too, like getting snow tires, filling up your washer fluid, and getting a general tune-up. If a big storm does hit, you should avoid driving if you can.
Check your fireplace
If you’re snowed in or it’s too cold to go out, you’ll want a little extra heat generated by your fireplace. Make sure the chimney is clear of any debris or build-up from last year. Also, make sure you have a sufficient amount of firewood to last you a few days! Remember, never leave a fire unattended and don’t make the fire too big.
Consider an emergency heater
If you lose power, that means you lose heat. If the winter storm is bad enough to knock out power, you can bet it’s freezing outside. Without heat, your home will soon be just as cold. It doesn’t hurt to have a generator and an emergency heater so you’re prepared for the worst.
We hope the winter treats you well and these tips help you prepare for a snowstorm of any size!