Whether you're driving your car, or staying cozy at home, heavy snow can be a hazard. At home, it has the potential to cause your roof to collapse or knock down large branches and powerlines in your neighbourhood. If you're driving, heavy snow can result in slippery, slushy road conditions that require you to take extra care behind the wheel. Use the tips below to prepare your home and your car before a snowstorm hits.
Prepare your home:
- Stock up on sawdust, wood, ash or kitty litter to sprinkle on your sidewalk and driveway. These de-icing options are more environmentally friendly than de-icer salt and can make shoveling easier after the storm.
- Spray non-stick cooking spray on the blade of your shovel to help the snow slide off easily when removing snow from your driveway or sidewalk.
- Start up your snowblower (if you have one) before the heavy snow arrives to ensure it's in good working order. Don't forget to grease your snowblower and fix broken shear pins if needed.
- Get an emergency kit ready and charge your devices in case the winter storm is severe enough to knock out your power for a period of time. Your emergency kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, personal hygiene items and a first aid kit.
Read more about how you can prepare your home for freezing winter temperatures.
Prepare your car:
- Always keep a snow brush, ice scraper, and extra shovel in your car.
- Change your wiper blades at least once a year and keep your washer fluid full so you're not caught without it.
- Switch to winter tires once the temperature consistently dips below 7°C to get better traction in cooler temperatures. In some parts of Canada, winter-rated tires are mandatory for winter driving. If you live in Ontario, you could save on car insurance with TD Insurance when you equip your vehicle with 4 winter tires from December to March.
- Make sure your gas tank is at least half full. This prevents condensation and freezing which can affect your vehicle's performance.
- Leave an emergency kit in your car, including first-aid items, non-perishable snacks, drinking water, a shovel, warm clothing, a blanket, jumper cables, a reflective triangle, a flashlight, and extra batteries. Don't forget to include a car charger for your phone and cat litter for traction.
Read more about how you prepare your vehicle for winter driving in Canada.