Stay safe during ice storms

Many Canadians take joy in the sight of big, fluffy snowflakes during winter. However, sometimes winter weather isn’t always so picturesque. Freezing rain coats our sidewalks and cars in ice, which is even more slippery than snow.

Ice storm safety tips

If severe freezing rain is in your local forecast, use these tips to help plan ahead and avoid injuries and property damage:

  • Keep your car off the road. Freezing rain can make roads slippery in seconds. If you can, wait to drive until roads have been salted or sanded, and stick to major routes. Remember that it takes longer to stop on snow and ice, so stay well behind the car in front of you.
  • If you must go outside, be aware of ice sheets and ice-covered branches or wires, which could break and fall under the weight.
  • See downed or hanging power lines? Let your power company or local police know. Assume the lines are still live and keep away from them. If you drive onto a downed line, stay in your car. Slowly maneuver your vehicle off the line, call the police and the power company and wait for help to arrive. Do not try to move the line.
  • Dress for the weather with boots or shoes with rubber soles, which offer the best traction.
  • Use handrails near stairs wherever possible on public transportation and when going in and out of buildings.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio and TV stations to listen for advisories or check weather.gc.ca for updates.
  • Make sure your home and car emergency kits are complete with the supplies you and your family would need to sustain for 72 hours in case officials close the roads or call for an evacuation.
  • Watch out for ice damming on your rooftop once the storm subsides. Consider having a licensed contractor remove snow and ice from your roof, overhangs, eaves and gutters.