Be Prepared for a Winter Storm

The Lake Huron shoreline is notorious for its winter storms. During stormy winter weather the roads across Bruce, Grey and Huron counties can be closed for days. These winter storms leave many people without access to services like groceries and gas, and make it difficult for companies to deliver heating products like propane and oil.

The best thing to do is to plan for the inevitable winter storms that roar across our region, by following these tips:

  • Monitor road and weather conditions prior to leaving your home.
  • Properly service your vehicle prior to winter and ensure it has quality winter tires.
  • Stock each vehicle with a shovel, gravel or sand, sleeping bag, candles, matches, high-energy foods, spare socks, mittens and a hat, a container for melting snow, and a brightly coloured cloth to signal for assistance.
  • Ensure your home has a reliable alternate heat source in case of power interruptions or your fuel tanks run dry.Keep firewood dry and accessible.
  • Have a sufficient supply (four litres per person, per day) of drinking water available in case the pipes freeze.
  • Have a three-day supply of canned or prepared food in case you can’t use your stove or microwave.Your barbecue can be used as an alternate source, but do not use it indoors.
  • Have a fully charged back-up cell phone battery.

If stranded in your vehicle

  • Stay calm. Do not leave your vehicle to seek other shelter unless appropriate shelter is close, visible and obviously inhabited.
  • Tie your distress flag to your side mirror or your outside door handle.
  • Take steps to stay warm. If your clothing is wet, remove it and replace with dry items from your emergency kit.Wrap yourself in a sleeping bag.If two or more people are in the vehicle, sit close together to share body heat, and if you’re alone, huddle in the fetal position.
  • Running your car heater to keep warm should be done only as a last resort.If you must, run it intermittently on low, until fuel runs out.Keep a window open to allow fresh air to circulate.Carbon monoxide poisoning and death could result if your vehicle is tightly shut.
  • Exercise regularly enough to stay warm and maintain circulation, but not enough to work up a sweat.Pay particular attention to hands and feet.
  • Stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
  • If you are travelling and you see a vehicle in distress, call police immediately.

If you are stranded at home

  • Turn the radio to any of local stations AM560, AM920, FM91.3, FM92.3, FM93.7, FM94.5, FM95.5, FM97.9, FM99.3, FM101.7 and FM106.5.
  • Stay calm, stay warm and stay put.
  • If your regular heating source fails, put on additional layers of clothing and use an emergency heat source (if available).