As Canadians, we know winter storms, including blizzards, ice storms and extreme cold, are common this time of year. Some of the risks related to winter weather include extended power outages, treacherous driving conditions and frigid temperatures. Are you and your family prepared for a weather-related emergency?
 
Take these steps to help ensure you and your loved ones are ready in the event of a winter storm:

1. Know the risks in your area and have an emergency preparedness plan customized to your family’s needs.
 
2. Create an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies for your family to be self-sustainable for 72 hours including non-perishable food and water. You can assemble your own kit or buy a kit at shop.redcross.ca.
Be ready for winter storms and other emergencies 
3. Buy rock salt to melt ice and sand to improve traction to prevent falls on icy entryways and sidewalks. Make sure you have shovels and snow removal equipment handy ahead of the storm.

4. Have an alternative heat source in case of a power outage, such as a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace, so you are able to keep one room in your home warm and habitable. Never use a barbecue, or something that is meant for outdoor use to heat an indoor space.  

5. Keep fire extinguishers on-hand and make sure your family knows how to use them.

6. Get trained in first aid. Visit redcross.ca/firstaid to find a course near you and download the free Red Cross First Aid app for your phone.
 
7. Prepare your vehicle for winter weather and follow these safe winter driving tips. Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If you drive in winter, ensure you have an emergency kit for your vehicle.

8. Always listen to local news and weather reports for information on changing weather conditions before, during and after a winter storm.