Severe weather refers to any dangerous meteorological phenomena with the potential to cause damage, serious social disruption, or loss of human life.
How will you know when severe weather is coming?
- Environment Canada issues a warning when severe weather is about to or is occurring.
- A watch is issued when conditions are favourable for the development of severe weather.
- A special weather statement is issued for unusual weather events that may be an inconvenience or may be a potentially hazardous situation in the long term forecast.
- Alert Ready: Canada’s New Emergency Alert System
Heavy snowfall and ice can make the roads treacherous and interrupt the power supply.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Wear layers of lightweight clothing, mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to keep from slipping on ice and snow.
- Regularly check for frostbite — numbness or white areas on your face and body (ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet in particular).
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow by taking frequent breaks.
- Bring pets inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Stay safe on the road this winter by:
- Getting a maintenance checkup to make sure your vehicle is winter-ready
- Keeping your fuel tank at least half full to help reduce moisture in the fuel system and add weight to the vehicle
- Making sure you have an ice-scraper and washer fluid that works down to -40oC
- Putting Winter Tires on your vehicle
- Checking conditions before you leave
- Putting together a winter survival kit to keep it in your vehicle and include:
- charged phone
- water and non-perishable food
- blanket and warm clothes
- jumper cables
- traction mats or sand
- candles and a lighter or matches
For more winter driving tips visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/winter-driving
Extreme Cold Warnings
Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) issues cold weather alerts when Environment Canada forecasts an air temperature below -15˚C or a wind chill below -20˚C. Weather alerts are posted to the SWPH website and social media channels.