Are You Ready To Survive A Winter Storm?
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. Most home-
To check road conditions for BC while in BC or anywhere in North America, please phone the
WINTER STORMS ARE CONSIDERED DECEPTIVE KILLERS .....
BECAUSE MOST DEATHS ARE INDIRECTLY RELATED TO THE STORM
People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.
Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation.
Recent observations indicate the following:
Related to ice and snow:
Related to exposure to cold:
Frostbite is damage to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Frostbite
causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers,
toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help
immediately! If you must wait for help, slowly re-
HYPOTHERMIA: LOW BODY TEMPERATURE
Warning signs -
The wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. Animals are also affected by wind chill.
AVOID OVEREXERTION, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
Snow . . .
BLOWING SNOW -
FREEZING RAIN -
BLACK ICE is ice frozen without many air bubbles trapped inside, making it transparent.
Black ice takes the color of the material it lies on top of, often wet asphalt or
a darkened pond. Its difficult-
KEEP AHEAD OF THE STORM by listening to Weather Radio, commercial radio,
and television for the latest winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories.
What to Listen For...
The three types of weather alerts include:
Special Weather Statements are issued for weather events that are unusual, cause general inconvenience or public concern and cannot adequately be described in a weather forecast. Special weather statements may be issued daily in summer to describe where thunderstorms are expected or occurring, or may reflect a warning in effect near our borders. These statements are updated as needed.
Watches provides a “heads-
Warnings alert you when severe weather is occurring or will occur. Activation of
a specific warning takes into consideration local needs. Warnings are issued ideally
when severe weather is expected to affect land-
A High Stream flow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to
rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-
A Flood Watch means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank full. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
A Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded bank full or will exceed bank full imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result.
Are YOU Ready?
Everyone needs to think about these things before a disaster occurs. Coping with a disaster is much more difficult and dangerous if you're not prepared. Some people don't take disaster preparedness seriously because they don't think it will ever happen to them. If it does, they assume there's nothing they can do about it. The truth is, disasters can happen any time, anywhere. The better prepared you are, the better off you'll be. Disaster preparedness isn't just a case of preparing for the worst; it's being prepared to do your best when it matters most.
During an emergency, services of all sorts could be disrupted. Stores, gas stations, etc. may be closed. Roads may be blocked and help not available for some time. You could be on your own for perhaps days. A properly prepared and maintained Emergency Supply Kit can be the key to bringing you and your family through a major disaster.
The kit should contain everything your family needs for self sufficiency for at least 72 hours. Some stores sell more or less complete kits, but they can be put together an item at a time. When assembling the food items for your home emergency kit, choose foods that:
Water is the most important item to choose. You will need 4 liters (1 gal) per person per day. Water may be purified by boiling or using bleach but bottled water is the best.
Ensure that you have your families medications, (with the Drug Identification numbers if you have to refill them) and food for your pets.
The Six Survival Rules
1. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. If you move from one area to another, advise someone.
2. Never go on an outing by yourself.
3. Take enough food for several days for possible emergency use.
4. Take a compass and map of the area and know how to use them. Before leaving, orient yourself to the area.
5. Wear proper clothing and equipment. Weather conditions can change quickly.
6. Plan you outing so that you may return to camp before dark. If you find yourself
stranded/lost outdoors, you can depend on these three things: Clothing/equipment
you have with you. Your ability to use whatever survival, knowledge and skills you
possess. Your mental attitude -
STOP . . . when lost
STOP where you are. Stop, relax and regain your composure.
OBSERVE your surroundings, your equipment and your physical condition. Identify the factors which most affect your possible survival and consider solutions.
PLAN a course of action. Consider all factors, adopt a plan which best utilizes your skill, knowledge, equipment and your physical and metal state. Prevent and care for physical injuries, protect yourself from the elements (shelter and fire construction), prevent exposure, acquire water and prepare signals for attracting rescuers.
When CAUGHT in a Winter Storm...
OUTSIDE . . .
Find shelter: Try to stay dry and cover all exposed parts of the body.
Prepare a lean-
Build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
Do not eat snow: It will lower your body temperature. Melt it first.
IN A CAR OR TRUCK . . .
Stay in your car or truck! Disorientation occurs quickly in wind-
DO NOT SET OUT ON FOOT! Stay inside your vehicle, rescuers are most likely to find you there.
Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
Make yourself visible to rescuers:
turn on the dome light at night when running engine. tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door.
raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.
Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers, and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.
AT HOME OR IN A BUILDING . . .
ON THE FARM . . .
In the event of an evacuation . . .
After the power returns . . .
Travel In Adverse Weather Conditions
Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm!
If you don't have to go, don't -
Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins. Winterize your car before winter arrives by checking the following:
Carry a WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT in Your Vehicle
If you MUST drive in adverse conditions, take the following precautions:
How to Prepare for a Winter Power Failure
Freezing rain, sleet storms or high winds can damage power lines and result in outages which may last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The following precautions can reduce the harmful effects and potential damage of power failure on your home.
Install a non-
Clean the flue on your wood-
If someone in your house relies on electrically powered life-
Keep an emergency survival kit that consists of the following items:
In the event of a power failure:
Environment Canada Warnings are issued ideally when severe weather is expected
to affect land-
When shoveling after a big snowstorm, don't over exert yourself -
If you suffer damage from a storm, the maximum financial assistance you may receive from the federal and provincial governments is $50,000.00. Eligible costs are determined in strict accordance with the criteria laid out in the Federal Government's Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.
On average, the storms and cold of winter kill more than 100 Canadians every year, more than the total number of people killed by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, lightning and extreme heat combined. The most common types of winter storms cause freezing rain, heavy snow, blowing snow and blizzards.
Driving Safety Tip: remember that a thin layer of snow offers less traction than a few centimetres.
Safety Tip: High wind in combination with heavy rain or snow can increase the risk of tree limb breakage or trees uprooting. Check your property for dead branches. Around 60 to 70 km/h you will have difficulty with balance and walking against the wind. Twigs and small branches blow off trees.
Safety Tip: There is a risk of frostbite in less than 10 minutes when the
wind chill is near -
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Winter Storms . . . the Deceptive Killers