In September, we saw first-hand how snow can have a huge impact. With many more months of winter weather ahead of us, the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) encourages you to be safe. High winds, low temperatures, heavy snowfall, and even freezing rain can all occur in a Calgary winter. Winter storms have the potential to disrupt power to your home. It’s important to be prepared for all kinds of conditions.
Even though winter storms usually come with plenty of warning, being prepared beforehand is essential. Remember to check the weather forecast regularly at weather.gc.ca or through local media. If extreme weather conditions are expected, avoid being outside for prolonged periods. When you’re inside, stay warm and stay safe. Remember never to use generators, grills, camp stoves or other fuel-burning appliances indoors or as sources of heat. These appliances can emit carbon monoxide - a clear, colorless and odorless gas which can cause illness and even death.
When you’re outside, dress for the weather. Wear mittens instead of gloves and bundle up in layers of loose-fitting clothing. Much body heat is lost through your head, so be sure to wear a hat. Make sure to let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. To reduce risks on the road, keep your vehicle well-maintained, install winter tires, always have at least a half tank of gas and store an emergency kit in your vehicle (go to calgary.ca and search “emergency kits for vehicles”). Consider using public transit to avoid driving in extreme and unsafe weather conditions, but remember that transit can also be affected by adverse weather and traffic, so being dressed for the conditions is crucial in case you have to wait for a bus or train.
Don’t forget about your pets. All pets, regardless of their breed, require shelter from the elements. Ears and paws are especially susceptible to frostbite. If your dog is an outdoor dog, make sure they have a dry, insulated and elevated dog house with clean dry bedding and a flap on the door to keep the wind out. Water in dishes freezes quickly, so consider buying a heated water bowl. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle during cold weather.
For more information on personal preparedness, please visit calgary.ca/cema.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.