Canadian winters are famous for being cold. The mercury keeps dropping, and suddenly, the bears aren't the only ones hibernating!
While it's true that many of us spend more time indoors in the winter, there are also those who embrace the outdoors, the snow and cooler temperatures.
For many parts of Canada, winter can mean bitter cold and winter storms that bring high winds, icy rain, or heavy snowfall.
This winter, get prepared for whatever the season will bring, whether you are indoors or out.
Follow these FIVE tips for staying safe in a Canadian winter:
Get informed and go outdoors.
Are you eagerly awaiting your chance to hit the slopes? Dreaming of making tracks with snowshoes? Check out AdventureSmart.ca to help you plan for a safe and enjoyable outing, whatever your passion. AdventureSmart.ca encourages everyone to follow the three T's: Trip planning, Training and Taking the essentials for any outdoor adventure. Here are some key tips for winter adventures:
- Before heading out, complete a trip plan and leave it with friends or family. You can find a template online at AdventureSmart.ca http://www.adventuresmart.ca/trip_safety/planning.htm
- Get trained for your adventure and stay within your limits.
- Take survival essentials with you and equipment like a communications alerting device in case of an emergency. In avalanche terrain, for example, essential equipment includes a probe, beacon and shovel.
- Wear a helmet when skiing, skating, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Dress in layers to avoid hypothermia and keep your head, ears and hands covered to prevent frostbite.
Stay safe indoors
Winter is a busy season for fires in Canada. That's why it's important to be mindful of fire prevention and safety. Make sure you have working smoke alarms, don't leave burning candles unattended and if a pot catches fire while cooking, put a lid on it. Read more tips.
Check your family emergency kit
You likely have some basic emergency kit items already in your home, such as a flashlight, battery-operated radio, food, water and blankets. The key is to make sure they are organized, easy to find and easy to carry (in a suitcase with wheels or in a backpack) in case you need to evacuate your home. Get your home emergency kit here!
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle
Prepare an emergency kit and keep it in your vehicle. Refresh the supplies for winter. For example, add an extra blanket or new food items. Get your vehicle emergency kit here!
Check weather reports
When severe winter weather threatens, Environment Canada issues special alerts to notify Canadians in affected areas so that they can take steps to protect themselves and their property. Check out Environment Canada's page on winter weather to learn more about the various weather alerts
Winter may be cold, but it doesn't have to be dangerous -- stay warm and safe and enjoy your winter, inside and out!
This tip has been brought to you by Public Safety Canada.
Photo provided by Environment Canada (photo.com) “ People huddle against the cold wind”.