It’s a good idea to have winter safety and survival gear in your car in case of emergency.

Be prepared for winter conditions

Protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning, extreme weather, and more

As British Columbians get used to winter, individuals and families should also take time to prepare for winter storm season. The first snows of the season have already fallen, and over the coming months winter conditions will be the norm.

During December there were several instances of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in B.C. It is important to stay safe, and that includes being mindful of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, but if too much is breathed in, it can become deadly. HealthLinkBC ( and Technical Safety BC ( have some useful information about the warning signs of CO gas in the home, symptoms of CO gas poisoning, and what to do if there is suspected exposure to CO gas.

Consider putting carbon monoxide detectors at home near sleeping areas. These carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased in any store that sells smoke detectors. Look for detectors endorsed by the Standards Council of Canada, such as the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

When installing a detector, follow the directions closely. Know what to do if the alarm sounds, and understand that carbon monoxide detectors are a backup safety measure. They do not replace the need to check appliances regularly and use them safely.

A little preparation will ensure individuals and families stay safe during stormy, wintery conditions. Here are some other tips to keep safe during this winter season:

* Prepare for extreme cold: Environment Canada will issue arctic outflow warnings when extremely cold winds that can create wind chill values of -20º C or colder are forecast for six or more hours. Use caution and limit outdoor exposure under these conditions, as there is an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Parents and pet owners should be particularly mindful of children and pets being outdoors during these times.

Find Environment Canada weather alerts and specific regional details at

* Wear your winter gear: Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Dressing in layers, with a wind and water resistant outer layer, provides flexibility for changing conditions. Cover as much exposed skin as possible by wearing hats, scarves, and gloves to avoid frostbite. Try to stay dry and change out of wet clothing as soon as possible.

* Be prepared for power outages: Severe weather can cause power outages. Be prepared for up to one week by developing a household emergency plan and putting together an emergency kit. If a power line is downed or damaged, assume it is live and a danger. Stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a bus) and call 9-1-1 immediately to report.

Learn about electrical safety from BC Hydro at, and learn about natural gas safety from FortisBC at

* Drive for the conditions: There are fewer daylight hours, and blowing snow can further reduce visibility. Wet and icy roads call for extra caution behind the wheel, and drivers should always maintain a safe distance from highway maintenance vehicles.

Motorists should monitor DriveBC ( for up-to-date road conditions and have an emergency kit in their vehicles that includes warm clothes, winter footwear, food and water, a shovel, a flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone for emergency calls. Remember to “shift into winter” with specific winter driving tips at

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, shares winter and holiday safety tips at And PreparedBC is British Columbia’s one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit PreparedBC at

Just Posted

Prescribed burns to take place around Lytton, Spences Bridge

BC Wildfire Service will only conduct burns if conditions permit

Flooding hits Highway 97 north of Cache Creek

Recent warm temperatures are causing an increase in flooding on area roads

Elizabeth May feels people are looking at the Green Party with new eyes

Green Party leader is hoping for a breakthrough for her party in the October federal election

Cache Creek Softball Association gears up for another season

Organizers are looking for people of all ages from throughout the area

New library program lets patrons research their ancestry

Ancestry Library allows anyone to research their family tree for free

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read