Severe Winter Weather
I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, on the East Coast. Our upcoming severe winter weather is a taste of what we experience and why we need to be prepared. Invariably, when the wind comes up, we lose our electricity (wires are still all on poles).
Strong Winds – Snow Squalls – Severe Cold
Alerts for: Queens County P.E.I.
10:01 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016
Wind warning in effect for:
Queens County P.E.I.
Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.
Northwest winds will gust to 90 km/h overnight Thursday night and Friday. These winds will be accompanied by very cold temperatures, flurries and blowing snow over exposed areas. There is also the possibility of snow squalls giving near zero visibilities in blowing snow.
Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.
Wind warnings are issued when there is a significant risk of damaging winds.
10:04 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016
Snow squall watch in effect for:
Queens County P.E.I.
Snow squalls are expected to develop. Under the snow squall bands, visibilities will be significantly reduced due to the heavy snow combined with blowing snow, and snow will quickly accumulate.
Very strong northwest winds coming across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait will give flurries at times heavy and reduced visibilities in blowing snow. There is also the potential for the development of snow squalls occasionally giving near zero visibilities in blowing snow and significant accumulation of snow.
Visibility may be significantly and suddenly reduced to near zero.
Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.*
Snow squall watches are issued when conditions are favorable for the formation of bands of snow that could produce intense accumulating snow or near zero visibilities.
10:02 PM AST Wednesday 14 December 2016
Special weather statement in effect for:
Queens County P.E.I.
Very cold air and strong northwesterly winds overnight Thursday night and Friday morning will cause temperatures to drop to minus 15 to minus 20. Wind chill values Friday morning will be near minus 30 giving significant risk of frostbite.
In an emergency (severe winter weather), you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
You may have some of the items already, such as food, water and a battery-operated or wind-up flashlight (and/or radio). The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is. Keep it in a backpack, duffle bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front-hall closet. If you have many people in your household, your emergency kit could get heavy.
It’s a good idea to separate some of these supplies in backpacks. That way, your kit will be more portable and each person can personalize his or her own grab-and-go emergency kit.
Preparing a Family Emergency Kit
It’s your responsibility to start gathering supplies and start thinking about what your family will need for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
I’m originally from another town, in another province, and we had severe winters there as well. I can remember traveling with my Mom, losing control of the car, and ending up in a snow bank and not able to get out of the car. That was pretty scary.
With age, I’ve begun to dislike winter. If we could just get a bit of white fluffy stuff and people could stay safe and not have car accidents or lose their power or have their houses burn down because they’re trying to keep warm with wood heat. Severe winter weather is something I have to deal with because this is where I live, but I make sure I have plenty of water on hand and food that doesn’t need cooking, oh and plenty of blankets too. I also don’t venture from home. I don’t need to add to the risk factors on the road.