As a Canadian, the most common question I get from non-Canadians is: How do you guys live up here with this weather? To outsiders, our weather and all that comes with it can seem extremely strange and almost other-worldly to those who live beyond our boarders. And sometimes, our climate affords us such strange encounters that even I can’t defend whatever reputation of normalcy that Canada still has. Just week, Alberta officials warned their citizens to be aware of salt-hungry moose that may try to approach and lick their cars. In fact, the event made national headlines. Motorists were warned not to approach the moose or try to kick it away via foot, and were reminded that the ideal moose-viewing distance is 30 metres. Touche. Anyways, with the cold weather comes lot’s of undesirable outcomes, whether it be a car covered in moose spit or a nasty fall on a patch of ice. Something that every Canadian will experience at least once is a snow-in. When the weather is just too frightful and dangerous that you cannot leave your house. As further evidence that no gift is ever truly free, meteorologist are predicting that this winter will be especially cold, probably a form of Canadian karma for last year’s relatively warm winter. So do you and your family have everything you need in case of a snow-in this winter? Make sure you check all of the following off your list:
- The bare essentials. Ok this goes without saying. You don’t want to be without the following: candles, matches, canned food, a flashlight, blankets, a battery-operated radio, all your necessary prescriptions and healthcare necessities. Pack them away somewhere where they are easy to find and accessible. If you don’t have all the essentials, head to your local hardware store to stock up
- A car in good working condition. I know I said you’d be snowed in, but if an emergency occurs and you absolutely positively must leave your house, you better be sure your car is in near-perfect condition and additionally has a full tank of gas. Find your nearest gas station ahead of time so you can navigate easily if the worst happens. You’ll thank me later when you don’t end up stuck on the side of the road.
- Portable heater. If your power goes out, you’re going to get cold. Invest in a portable heater and a backup plan in case yours runs out of juice. Warm clothes and layers will help but they can only do so much. Keep everyone warm with a heater, or alternatively make sure you have enough clean and safe wood to build a fire (if you have a fireplace that is, I do not recommend doing this on your kitchen floor).
- Get your doors and windows checked. This tip applies to all Canadians, snowed in or not. You would likely be shocked to know how much heat you’re wasting by having energy inefficient doors and windows. Its likely that your house is poorly sealed, especially if its an older building or rental. Solicit the advice from a professional; it may cost you now but it can save you a ridiculous amount of money in the long run.
- Something fun to do. If you need to wait out the storm, chances are you’re going to get bored and fast. Pick something to have on hand should the worst happen. Ideally, something that doesn’t involve electricity as its likely you’ll be without that too. Cards, a good book, or a board game are always good to have on hand just in case.