It's not unusual for Halifax to be hit with a winter storm or two (or five) during the first few months of the year. As seasoned Nova Scotians, we’re no strangers to the damage winter storms can cause. Do everything you can to lessen the damage and keep you, your family, and your property safe with the following tips!

Subivision Snow

1. Stay In The Know

The first step in preparing yourself for winter storms is staying in the know of what’s going on in your region. You can’t prepare for something you don't know is coming!

Monitor Environment Canada and keep up with local media for weather warnings and updates in the winter months and especially when a storm's predicted to hit.

Throughout a storm, monitor power outages across Nova Scotia and check in with your neighbours.

2. Fill Up On Water

Fill up your tub with water before an impending storm. If water supplies are compromised you will have a supply for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet for a few days.

Bathtub filling with water

3. Secure Everything On Your Property

Secure everything in your yard that could be blown around or torn loose:

  • Trim dead tree branches
  • Secure fencing
  • Put all patio and yard furniture away
  • Secure barbecue
  • Inspect your roof for loose shingles

Snow covered backyard

4. Prepare The Pipes

Avoid the damage of a frozen pipe bursting by insulating both hot water and cold water pipes. Pipes that are on outer walls and pipes in your basement are the most vulnerable. Pipe insulation can be found at your local hardware store.

Keep pipes under or in cupboards warm by opening the cupboard doors to let the heat get to them.

If the power goes out, turn on your faucets and let them drip slowly to help keep water flowing.

Installing pipe insulation

5. Make a Household Emergency Plan

If you don’t already have an emergency plan, it’s time to sit down with your household and put one in place. It can be a tedious task, but in the event of an emergency you'll be so much less stressed if everyone knows what to do and where to go. Write your plan out and give every household member a copy. This guide from the Government of Canada is a great place to start your making your plan!

Household Emergency Plan

6. Put Together an Emergency Kit

Make or purchase an emergency kit, you'll be so thankful you did when and if the time comes. Emergency items often sell out quickly during the days leading up to a storm, so don't wait!

Here’s of what should be in a basic emergency kit as suggested by the Government of Canada:

    • Bottles of Water
    • Food that won’t spoil
    • Manual can opener
    • Wind-up or battery-powered radio + Extra batteries
    • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight + Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities etc.
    • Cash and change
    • Important family documents
    • Copy of your Emergency Plan

Where To Buy Emergency Kits:

Emergency kit supplies

Bonus Tip: Stock Up On Storm Chips!

Every Haligonian knows that chips are an essential when bad weather is on its way. The chip aisle usually clears out pretty fast in the days leading up to a storm so you'll want to make sure you have all your favourite flavours before the snow hits the ground.

Storm Chips

Nova Scotia weather is pretty unpredictable, so it's always best to prepare for the worst. We hope you stay safe and warm throughout whatever weather Winter throws our ways this year.

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