Extreme Winter Weather safety tips

P.E.I. Retired Teachers Association:

Protecting yourself, your home and your business during extreme winter weather; January 2014. Johnson Insurance.

Winter storms have left many Atlantic Canadians dealing with power outages, damaged property, and treacherous roads. Johnson Insurance reminds everyone affected to take extra care in these conditions. Here are a few tips and precautions to help you stay safe during extreme winter weather.

It’s most important to protect yourself and your family first:
• Stay away from downed power lines.
• If a power line is in water, call your local hydro company immediately.
• Keep in touch with family by text or mobile phone to ensure they are safe.

If you lose power in your home or business:
• Avoid opening doors unnecessarily. However, ensure adequate ventilation is maintained.
• Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances. This will prevent damage if there’s a power surge.
• Don’t leave lit candles or heaters unattended.
• If there is a danger of freezing pipes, turn off the main water valve and drain the line(s). Or turn taps on just enough to maintain a small stream of water. Put plumbing antifreeze in toilet bowls, sinks and bathtub drains.

If road conditions are poor, avoid driving if it isn’t necessary. If you do find yourself on the roads, here are some tips to keep you safe:
• Check weather and road conditions before heading out on the road.
• Before driving, ensure you clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof of your vehicle. Wait for the fog to clear from interior windows.
• Be cautious when pulling out of your driveway, as snow banks can impede your vision.
• Drive slowly and keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
• It is always wise to have an emergency kit in your trunk. The kit should include a flashlight and batteries, blanket, extra clothing and footwear, matches and a "survival" candle in a tin can (to warm hands, heat a drink, or use as an emergency light), non-perishable food and water bottles, a snow shovel, sand, extra windshield washer fluid and anti-freeze, hazard flares and booster cables.

Other things you can do to help keep your property safe:
• To prevent water from backing up during a thaw, keep snow and ice from piling up around drains and down spouts.
• If it is safe to do so, trim branches or trees that could break under the weight of heavy ice or snow and topple onto your home, car, or other property.
• Keep your house steps, walkways and driveway clear of snow and ice.
• Clear ice and snow away from outside vents and basement windows.
• Have a qualified company clear heavy amounts of snow and ice from rooftops.

We’re here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to report an insurance claim, contact us day or night at 1-800-804-0087. Be sure to document damages and have your insurance policy information on hand when you call.

For more information, visit www.johnson.ca

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