Winter can be a beautiful and magical time of year, but it also brings its own unique challenges. It’s important to take the time to prepare.

Here are some key winter preparedness tips to keep you safe and comfortable:

Avoid Unnecessary Travel: If possible, limit your travel during severe winter weather. If you must go out, plan your route ahead of time and let someone know your plans.

Dress Warmly: Layer lightweight clothing to stay warm and dry. Wear mittens and a hat to protect your extremities from the cold. Waterproof, insulated boots will keep your feet warm and dry while preventing slips on ice and snow.

Check for Frostbite: Regularly check for signs of frostbite, such as numbness or white areas on your face and body, particularly on your ears, nose, cheeks, hands, and feet.

Avoid Overexertion: When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion. Lift with your legs and take it slow.

Improve Traction: Use rock salt and sand to melt ice and improve traction on sidewalks and driveways.

Protect Your Pets and Livestock: Bring pets inside during extreme cold, and provide sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water for livestock.

Prepare Rural Areas: In rural areas, consider stringing a lifeline between your house and any outbuildings you may need to visit during a storm. Install snow fences to reduce drifting snow on roads and paths.

Taking these steps will help you stay safe and healthy during winter. Be mindful of the weather conditions and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property protected.

Let’s not forget about our older family members, neighbors, and friends during this season.

Check on Vulnerable Individuals: Regularly check on older adults, those who are ill, or living with disabilities. They may need extra help to prepare for and cope with winter conditions.

Offer Help: If you’re able, offer to pick up groceries or other essential supplies for them. Make sure they have everything they need to stay warm and comfortable.

Ensure Their Safety: Verify that their home is heated properly and check for any safety hazards like slippery walkways or driveways.

Provide Warmth: If you can, provide blankets, warm clothing, or other items to help keep them cozy.

Be a Good Neighbor: Offer assistance with snow shoveling, de-icing paths, or even just a friendly conversation to help them feel less isolated during the colder months.

Staying informed is crucial during the winter months, as weather conditions can change rapidly. Here are some ways to stay updated and keep yourself and your community safe:

Check the Weather: Regularly monitor your local weather forecasts online to stay aware of upcoming conditions. This will help you plan your day and avoid potential hazards.

Ontario511: Visit Ontario511 to get real-time information on road conditions, traffic updates, and driving information. Knowing the road conditions can help you plan your travels and stay safe on the road.

School Closures: Check with your local school board for information on cancelled classes and school bus services. This will help you plan for any changes in your routine.

Municipal Updates: Stay in touch with your local municipality for updates on snow removal services and special rules in place during a snow emergency.

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