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Staying safe and warm this winter

shutterstock_46373200_EXP-Dec-12-2015-(1).jpgIt’s winter in Canada! This change in seasons means the chance to ice skate, sled, snowmobile, and build fantastic snowmen – it also means that it’s time to take extra care due to storms and extra cold conditions.  Enjoying winter weather while staying safe and warm takes some extra precautions. Here are some tips to keep you prepared:

Keeping  warm:
  • Cover up exposed skin, like fingers, cheeks, ears, and your nose
  • Cover your head by wearing a hat
  • Know the signs of cold-related emergencies, like frostbite or hypothermia, and what to do if they happen
  • Change out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • Dress in layers - tightly-woven fabrics like wool or synthetics are good for layering
  • Stay hydrated

Keeping safe during winter storms:
Winter weather can be beautiful, but it can also be volatile. Stay safe throughout the season by having a plan, a kit and knowing the risks
  • Stay home when possible during storms – be sure to check local weather reports if you must out
  • Make sure you’re dressed appropriately when outdoors
  • Know the signs of cold-related heath emergencies and what to do if someone is experiencing them
  • Check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours

On the road:
With winter weather driving comes with a new set of challenges.  Proper winter driving is critical to staying safe on the road as is making sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving conditions. Before heading out on the road be sure to check local weather reports, have more than half a tank of gas, and create an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes:
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Shovel
  • Sand or cat litter
  • Blankets
  • A candle in a deep can with waterproof matches
  • Tow chain
  • Warning light or flairs
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Hat and warm clothes
  • Food bars
  • Booster cables
  • First aid kit
  • Road maps
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fully-charged cell phone

Ice safety:
Ponds and lakes can be great for skating and playing hockey – but it’s important to make sure ice is thick enough.
  • Always check the thickness and colour of ice – grey indicates the ice is not thick enough yet
  • Ice should be a clear blue before it’s considered safe to step on
  • Ice that is 15cm thick is okay for skating alone, but should be at least 20cm thick for a group
After taking the proper precautions you can enjoy the season with your friends and family, knowing you are prepared for what winter can bring your way. 
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