When the weather turns nasty:
Stock up on heating fuel and ready-to-eat food, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios – and extra batteries. For a complete list of emergency supplies, go to emergency kits. Also, learn what to have in your car emergency kit.
When a severe storm is on the horizon, the Meteorological Service of Canada issues watches, warnings and advisories through radio and television stations, the WeatherOffice Website, automated telephone information lines and Environment Canada’s WeatherRadio.
Other tips for preparedness
- If a severe storm is forecast, secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose – indoors and outdoors. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
- Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house during a storm.
- If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
- You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
- If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
- You can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it’s not safe to use a land-line telephone.
- Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise.
- If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you). Stay there.
- On a farm, generally, the effects of severe storms on livestock are lessened by moving animals to avoid the storm; mitigating the storm’s effect if it cannot be avoided; or sheltering the animals, ensuring they have access to food and water. The approach taken would depend upon the type of disaster anticipated.
If a blizzard or heavy blowing snow is forecast, you may want to string a lifeline between your house and any outbuildings to which you may have to go during the storm.
If you live on a farm, shelter animals. Generally, if the structure is sound, the animals should be placed indoors. Once they are inside, secure all openings to the outside. The sheltering should be ordered and completed before similar action is taken for humans. Water supplies should be checked for freezing. Many animals have died of thirst during the winter, even with abundant water sources, because they could not drink the water as it was frozen solid.
If hail is forecast, you may want to protect your vehicle by putting it in the garage.
Consider checking the drainage around the house to reduce the possibility of basement flooding after a heavy rain.
Before a severe thunderstorm, unplug radios and televisions – listen for weather updates on your battery-powered radio.