Winter Storm / Extreme Cold

Heavy snowfall, freezing rain and extreme cold temperatures can occur often during Fredericton winters. Use the following tips to keep you and your family safe.

How Can I Prepare For A Winter Storm Or Extreme Cold?

  • Follow the weather forecast.
  • Plan ahead when a storm is forecast. Run your errands, fill up your gas tank, and stop by an ATM before the storm hits.
  • Keep a 72-hour emergency kit at home in case you can’t leave due to weather conditions.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least half-full.
  • Check that any backup heating units are in good working order and property vented.
  • Make sure you have a phone that doesn’t need power to operate (cordless phones won’t work without power). Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Have a working carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home. This will help protect you against carbon monoxide poisoning, as CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic, flammable gas. CO comes from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane or wood. Carbon monoxide poisoning can still happen if you have opened your window or garage door.

What Should I Do During A Winter Storm Or Extreme Cold?

  • Follow these tips in the event of power outage.
  • Don’t drive or go out during storm conditions or freezing rain. Poor visibility and/or road conditions put you at risk of being in an accident. It also can slow the response of first responders and clean-up crews. Remember even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery.
  • If you absolutely must travel, use extreme caution and do so during daylight. Let someone know your destination, route and expected arrival time.
  • In the event of an electrical outage at an intersection, treat the intersection like a four-way stop.
  • Be extremely careful with generators, BBQs, camping stoves and propane or kerosene heaters to avoid putting yourself and your family at risk.
    • Never run a generator in your home, garage, or near a window/air intake outside of your house. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a generator.
    • Never use a BBQ, camping stove or propane heater inside your house or garage.
  • Keep all chimneys and vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building. Some vents, such as pellet stove vents, may exit the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup.
  • Keep natural gas meters and external vent pipes clear of snow and ice. Use a brush or broom to remove the snow. Never scrape a meter or vent pipe with anything sharp as it could damage the equipment.
  • Dress warmly if you have to go outside. Have layers to add or remove in the case the weather changes.
  • Don’t overexert yourself in extreme cold. Overexertion can cause death as a result of sweating or a heart attack.

What Can I Do To Drive More Safely During The Winter?

  • Check the forecast before you leave. If road conditions are poor, consider delaying your trip until they improve.
  • Winterize your vehicle and get a tune up.
  • Install snow tires and make sure they are properly inflated (colder temperatures lead to tire pressure decreases).
  • Before you leave, clear snow and ice from your vehicle, and make sure your windows, mirrors, headlights, and brake lights are completely clear.
  • Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
  • Reduce your speed, use your brakes lightly in slippery conditions, and turn on your headlights.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Leave extra distance between you and the car ahead of you. Leave at least 10 metres distance —about three car lengths—ahead of you when driving behind sand/salt machines or snow removal equipment.
  • Do not pass working sanders or equipment.
  • Listen to local radio stations for traffic and weather updates.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least half-full.

Some original information sourced from the City of Calgary, the Government of New Brunswick, Public Safety Canada and Enbridge Gas New Brunswick.