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  Quick Navigation: Current Forecasts Analysis Summer Winter Industry Specials Misc.

Road Conditions
Flu Reports
Airport Delays
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Snowmobile/Skiing
Safety

--Before The Storm
--Keep Informed
--If you get Caught
--Winter Dangers
--Windchill


Keeping Safe By Preparing Before The Storm Strikes

Preparations before the storm are the most important safety factors in the winter season to keep you and your family safe. As snow, reduced visibility and other climatic variables occur in the winter, this prevents you from being able to move around to get supplies. Thus making sure you have the necessary supplies and tools is something that should be done before the storm arrives.  Here is a basic list of preparations that should be taken. 

At home and at work... 

Primary concerns are the potential loss of heat, power, telephone service, and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

Have available:

--Flashlight and extra batteries;
--Proper candle holders and candles; 
--Battery-powered Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside;
--Extra food and water. High energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best;
--Extra medicine and baby items; 
--First-aid supplies; 
--Heating fuel. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm; 
--Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc; 
--Learn to use properly to prevent a fire; 
--Have proper ventilation; 
--Fire extinguisher and smoke detector;
--Test units regularly to ensure they are working properly;

In cars and trucks...

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! If you don't have to go, don't.

1) Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins.

--Winterize your car before winter arrives by checking the following:

Antifreeze - Keep engine coolant at the proper levels as this protects against freezing and corrosion. Change the coolant as recommended by the car's manufacturer.
Battery - Test to make sure it is in good working condition to provide ample power for cold winter starts.
Brakes - Worn brakes require longer stopping distances and can pull the car to one side when stopping. A mechanic can check your brakes and make necessary repairs.
Emergency Supplies - At a minimum, your car should be equipped with a flashlight, blanket, sand or salt and a snow/ice scraper.
Exhaust System - Fumes from a leaky exhaust system can quickly become fatal. Remember, never run the motor in your garage.
Heater and Defroster - In proper working condition, these will keep passengers comfortable and the windshield free of ice and condensation.
Oil - Change your oil using a winter grade oil for easier starting.
Tires - Worn tires lose their grip on slippery roads. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. All-weather tires or snow tires are recommended for most areas.
Wipers and Windshield Fluid - Ensure good visibility by replacing worn wiper blades or installing winter blades. Keep washer reservoir filled with specially formulated antifreeze solution for windshields.
--Keep your car clean. Chemicals, salt and gravel used for de-icing roads can be extremely corrosive to your car. Clean regularly with plain water to reduce the harmful effects of these agents.

2) Carry a WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT in Your Vehicle

--blankets/sleeping bags; 
--flashlight with extra batteries; 
--first-aid kit; 
--knife; 
--high-calorie, non-perishable food; 
--extra clothing to keep dry (including hat, socks and mitts, not gloves); 
--a large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for --sanitary purposes; 
--a smaller can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking;  
--sack of sand (or cat litter); 
--shovel; 
--windshield scraper and brush; 
--tool kit; 
--tow rope; 
--booster cables; 
--water container with water;
--brightly colored cloth to use as a flag; 
--compass and road maps; 
--keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. 

3) If you have to drive in adverse conditions, take the following precautions.

--Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person. Try not to travel alone. 
--Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes and plan long trips carefully.
--Take a cell phone/Ham radio/CB for emergency purposes if you become stuck/broke down or in trouble.
--Listen to the radio, call the state highway patrol for the latest road
conditions and use road condition information available on this site.
--Dress warmly. Wear layers of loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.
--Carry food and water. Store a supply of high energy "munchies" and several bottles of water.
--Allow extra time to reach your destination when driving on slick winter roads. Slow down and avoid making sudden moves - no fast turns, no quick acceleration and no hard breaking. If you don't have time to slow down, when will you have time for an accident?
--Bridges and overpasses freeze before road surfaces. Freezing air circulating above and below the bridge causes ice to form more rapidly than on a surface that has freezing air above and warmer ground below.
--Allow additional stopping distance on any road that is not dry by doubling the Four-Second Rule. This rule teaches new drivers safe driving distances - when the rear bumper of the car ahead passes any designated spot, make sure you reach the same spot in four seconds or more. Doubling or even tripling this safety measure is especially wise during winter driving but can be practiced throughout the year.
--Visibility is an important factor for safe driving during a winter storm. Keep your lights on and clear the windshield of accumulations of ice and snow if necessary.
--Know what to do if you skid on ice or get stuck in snow. Counter steer to regain control in a skid. Steer the car in the same direction that the rear wheels are sliding. If the rear wheels slide to the right, turn the front wheels right and vice versa. Do not spin your wheels when stuck on ice or in snow. Instead, remove snow from the area around the tire, if necessary, and spread sand or salt under the drive wheel to regain traction.

On the farm... 

--Move animals to sheltered areas. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds. 
--Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas. 
--Have a water supply available. Most animal deaths in winter storms are from dehydration.

 

                     ?1997-2017 The Ontario Weather Page

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