Preparedness for Winter
Before a winter storm arrives, plan ahead, so you can comfortably and safely carry on during the winter season.
- Make arrangements with family members who may be elderly or have limited mobility issues and who do not live with you - help them prepare for winter.
- Get your home winter ready - have your furnace inspected, shut off outside water to protect plumbing and built-in sprinkler systems, and clear catch basin grates before snow arrives.
- Assess the trees on your property and trim dead branches to reduce the danger of them falling onto power lines or your house during a storm.
- Winterize your vehicle and, when it snows, drive only with good winter tires.
- Make alternate plans for getting to work in the snow.
- Be sure to have warm clothing and solid shoes or boots with good traction.
- Assemble a basic emergency supplies kit (PDF) to help your family be self-sufficient for 72 hours.
- Have a flashlight, electric lantern, extra batteries, battery packs or a charged laptop acting as a batter pack to charge your mobile device
- Consider an alternative safe, heating system - choose approved heating units that do not depend on an electric motor, electric fan or other electrical device to function. Check with the dealer or manufacturer regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.
- Use caution and follow directions when operating generators, insuring they are in a proper well-ventilated area.
- Furnace and fireplace maintenance considerations are very important in preparing for winter weather.
- Never use a camp stove, barbecue, or propane or kerosene heater indoors.
Colder temperatures demand a lot of your vehicle so it’s important to prepare for the winter season. Visit a qualified technician to ensure your vehicle is in good working condition. Prepare a small, portable Grab-and-Go Kit (PDF) to keep in your vehicle to help you in the case of an emergency.
Winter Driving Tips
- Ensure you have at least 2/3 of a tank of gas at all times.
- Ensure you check current road conditions before you plan a trip during the winter at the Ministry of Transport’s DriveBC page.
- Check for weather alerts before your road trip as well at Environment Canada’s Public Weather Alerts page.
- Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter with proper maintenance, winter tires, chains and a winter survival kit in your trunk.
Preparedness Tips for Power Outages
The most common occurrence during a rain/wind storm is often extended periods of power outage mainly due to trees and other plant debris impacting power lines. Visit our Power Outages Preparedness Information page to learn more about how you can prepare.
Personal Winter Safety
Winter storms can create personal safety issues if you are not prepared. Following weather forecasts and paying attention to personal emergency preparedness will reduce any possible impacts to your family and your property.
There are also a number of precautions you can take which will help to comfortably get through the winter season safely:
- Dress appropriately for the inclement weather. Protect exposed skin and help prevent heat loss by wearing a hat, scarf, mittens or gloves.
- Choose well-insulated and waterproof footwear that has a thick, non-slip tread sole, a wide and low heel and is light in weight.
- Try not to drive unless you have to and only if you have good snow tires.
- Keep a medical emergency kit in your vehicle.
- Always, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic and pay close attention.
- When you see a snow plow approaching, please move to the inside of the sidewalk, and stay far away from the road when it is passing by.
- Allow extra time to get to your destination whether you are walking, taking transit or driving - slow down.
- Be aware of your surroundings. A covered patch of ice or a pothole filled with snow may cause an unexpected slip or fall.
- Stay at home, unless you absolutely need to travel when weather conditions are bad.
- Run errands during daylight hours whenever possible since it is easier to see slippery spots.
- Be careful when shoveling snow - although there is limited physical action, the strain of shoveling can put a strain on a person’s heart. People with a heart condition should use caution. Use a smaller shovel, take your time ad see a doctor if you experience discomfort.
- If you are a resident of Coquitlam and unable to shovel your own adjacent city sidewalk due to a physical disability or restriction (not including personal walkways/driveways), over the age of 65 or concerned that the physical exertion from a heavy snowfall is too much, consider applying to access our Snow Angel program.
- Stay off of the ice on lakes and ponds during the winter as the ice is too thin and poses a safety risk. Ice is not thick enough to support people or animals.
- Students should use caution walking to and from school when it has snowed, and when playing in the snow.
- Children and youth should take care when sledding and tobogganing. Please visit this info from Parachute Canada, a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives.
Winter Wise Program
Please check out the information on our Winter Wise Program webpage to help you learn about the City’s operations during winter storm events and other winter preparedness tips as well as your responsibilities and how to be prepared for any emergency.