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Tips to Prepare For The First Snowfall

The winter weather predictions are in and although the consensus is that this winter will be milder than the Ontario average, which includes periods of -30°C, it may not be anything like the snowless winter we had last year.

As the snow begins to sweep through the province – likely later this month – it is important to start thinking about the hazards it presents and what you can do to prepare for it. To help, we have pulled together a list of simple ways to get ready for the snow before it arrives. Whether preparing your vehicle or home, don’t wait until the first snowfall before thinking about what you need to do.

For your vehicle:

  • For increased traction, swap out your tires for some heavy-duty snow tires.
  • Check and replace your car battery if required.
  • If it’s been more than six months since your last brake check, have them checked again before the winter driving season.
  • Make sure you have the right oil in your car for the winter months, as some are only for specific uses and they all have varying viscosities.
  • For increased visibility while driving, check your wiper blades and headlights. Also ensure your car is filled with winter-appropriate windshield wiper fluid and that you keep extra containers on hand in case you need to suddenly refill the tank.
  • Keep a small shovel, ice scraper and snowbrush in your car at all times. You never know when a snowfall might hit.
  • In the event of an emergency, stock your car with an emergency roadside kit consisting of a flashlight, warning devices (e.g., flares and reflective strips), a first aid kit, blankets, foods that are higher in sugar (e.g., chocolate bars and candy), jumper cables, extra windshield wipers, and boots and glove warmers.
  • Try not to let your gas tank fall below ¼ full. The fuller your gas tank, the less likely your gas lines will freeze during periods of extremely cold weather.

For your home:

  • If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s serviced, and ensure you have a good-quality shovel for your driveway and walkways.
  • Be sure to keep extra bags of rock salt or sand on hand for those icy days so you can keep your walkways safe.
  • Have your furnace serviced before the snow hits. You may also want to consider having a protection plan in place. Knowing you have protection in the event of equipment failure during periods of peak use will give you peace of mind.
  • Should a power outage occur, make sure you have plenty of blankets, flashlights and batteries on hand.
  • Because Canadian winters can be harsh, you and your family should dress properly for the weather. Invest in a good winter coat, a sturdy pair of boots and dress in layers to help keep you warm.


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