Winter in Nova Scotia often means being prepared for any type of weather, from a downpour of rain to falling ice pellets or even a full-on blizzard. Nova Scotians should be prepared for anything, and while having an ample supply of storm chips is very important, we thought we’d let you in on a few more tips to keep you comfortable the next time there’s a storm headed for our province.
Keep an eye on our local weather stations or your favourite app. Environment Canada will issue a statement, advisory, watch, or a warning when a storm is approaching. A statement means weather conditions are unusual and could possibly cause concern. An advisory is for specific but less severe weather conditions that could impact people. A watch the risk of bad weather has increased and could cause safety concerns, you may want to start preparing. Finally, a warning means we are very likely to be hit by a storm and you should be prepared.
What to do at home
- Stock up on non-perishable food items. If the power goes out, you won’t be able to keep food cool so items that don’t need to be refrigerated are most important. You also may want to consider foods that don’t need to be heated as well, unless you have a gas stove that can be lit with a match.
- Stock up on water, it is suggested to have three days worth of water available in case access to water is cut off. You can either buy jugs at your local store or you can fill your own at home. Some people will even fill a clean bathtub before a storm.
- Stock up on batteries for flashlights and candles in case of a power outage. Also, consider getting a portable charger for your phone.
- Stock up on toilet paper.
- Take out and extra blankets and warm clothes as most heating systems don’t work in a power outage.
- If you take any medications make sure you refill any prescriptions that may be running low. Consider stocking up on anything over-the-counter you may take as well.
- Consider having lots of activities on hand for the kids, as they may get restless when stuck inside, especially if the power is out.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure the flue is clean so you can start a fire without any safety hazards.
- If you use an oil heating system make sure your oil tank is full. You don’t want to run out in the middle of the storm and be left in the cold. Signing up for automatic delivery can make sure you don’t run out when you most need it.
What to do with your car
Ideally, it is best to stay home and off the roads during a winter storm but if there’s an emergency you may need to travel. Make sure your car is prepared as much as your home.
- Fill up your gas tank.
- Top up the antifreeze.
- Stock your car with a snow shovel, ice scraper, salt or cat litter, jumper cables, emergency flares, a flashlight, water and snacks.
- If you park on the street make sure you have another parking option available, many cities have street parking bans during storms to allow ploughs to clear snow.
These tips might keep you more comfortable during the next winter storm to hit Nova Scotia and in the meantime, we can all continue to hope for an early spring!