Snowstorms are among Canada’s most common natural disasters and while Canadians are known for their resilience in dealing with harsh winter weather, there are certain things that you should never do during a Canadian snowstorm. Here are some actions that can put yourself and others at risk.
Underestimate the Storm
It’s easy to brush off a snowstorm, especially if you’ve lived in Canada for a while. This can be a big mistake. Snowstorms can quickly become severe and cause significant damage. Always be prepared for the worst-case scenario and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Neglect Your Winter Tires
Winter tires are a must-have in Canada, especially during snowstorms. Ensure your tires are in good condition and have enough tread to navigate through snowy roads safely. Neglecting your winter tires could put you and others at risk on the road. If you don’t have winter tires, avoid driving during a snowstorm or take public transportation instead.
Drive Without Proper Preparation
If you must drive during a snowstorm, ensure your car is equipped for the conditions. This equipping means having an emergency kit and ensuring your gas tank is full. Driving without these necessary preparations could lead to accidents or being stranded on the road.
Ignore Weather Warnings
In the age of technology, ignoring weather warnings is simply irresponsible. Keep a close eye on weather updates and follow instructions from local authorities. If they advise staying indoors, do so for your safety. Never ignore a warning and unnecessarily go out into a snowstorm.
Leave Your House Unprepared
A snowstorm can cause power outages, making it essential to be prepared for a loss of electricity. Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, and blankets ready if the power goes out. It’s also wise to have a backup generator.
Forget About Shoveling
Shoveling snow is not fun, but keeping your property safe is necessary. Leaving snow to pile up can create hazards for both yourself and others. Remember to shovel your driveway, walkways, and sidewalks regularly.
Leave Pets Outside
Just like humans, pets are also vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. It’s crucial to bring them inside during a snowstorm or ensure they have proper shelter if they must stay outside. Leaving them outdoors in the cold for extended periods can cause harm to their health.
Ignore Road Closures
Road closures during a snowstorm are not uncommon. Avoid driving on closed roads, likely blocked for a reason – to keep you safe. Always follow the instructions of local authorities and take alternate routes when necessary.
Venture off Alone
Snowstorms can make it challenging to navigate through unfamiliar territory. Avoid venturing alone during a snowstorm, as you could easily get lost or injured. Having a partner or group increases your chances of survival if something goes wrong.
Stay In Your Car During Whiteout Conditions
Don’t stay in your car if you find yourself on the road during a whiteout. Turn off your engine and use emergency flares or reflectors to make your vehicle visible to others. Stay outside of the car and seek shelter until the conditions improve.
Neglect Your Health
Extreme cold temperatures can be dangerous for your health. Ensure to dress warmly, limit exposure to the cold, and stay hydrated. If you experience any symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite, seek immediate medical attention.
Use Candles for Heat
During a power outage, it may be tempting to use candles for heat. However, this can be extremely dangerous and could lead to a fire. Stick to alternative sources of warmth like blankets, layers of clothing, and safe heating devices.
Forget to Check on Elderly Neighbors
During a snowstorm, it’s essential to check on your elderly neighbors. They may require assistance with shoveling snow or other tasks. Additionally, extreme winter weather can be more dangerous for seniors, so ensuring they are safe and have everything they need is essential.
Panicking during a snowstorm can make a bad situation worse. Stay calm and follow safety protocols to stay safe. If you are unsure what to do, seek guidance from local authorities or emergency services. Remember that panicking can cloud your judgment and endanger yourself and others.
Ignore Post-storm Cleanup
Cleaning up debris or hazards on your property after a snowstorm is important. This activity includes clearing clogged drains and gutters to prevent water damage or leaks. Neglecting post-storm cleanup can lead to further problems down the road.
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