The recent cold weather in our neck of the woods spelled headaches for many.  To be honest, some could have been prevented by individuals shouldering the responsibility to prepare properly for winter weather. The old adage of “we don’t get winter weather here” is no longer the norm. Climate change of all degrees will become the norm for the foreseeable future.

There are some simple things you can do to prepare for weather changes; one being, things you gather, the other being mindset. And that’s where it all begins.

1. Check the weather. We have the technology – it’s called an app!

We know the forecast, that at times, can be hit and miss. We’ve all been there waiting for that snowstorm, wind warning or heat alert that doesn’t materialize. Mother nature has the final say. Always. But that doesn’t mean we need to ignore it. Just be prepared for whatever is supposed to come our way.

2. Preparation – Part 1 – Now that we know what to potentially expect, let’s get prepared for it. Buy the ice melt – it’s not going to go bad if you don’t use it this season. You’ll have it nice and handy for next year. Get your shovels out and leave them near a door for easy access. It’s easier to shovel a few centimetres of snow when it’s fresh as opposed to leaving accumulation and having it freeze. Then you’re in for a battle. Use your legs not your back when shovelling. Neighbours; look out for those who are elderly or have mobility issues and give them a hand. We’ve even had kids offer to shovel walks and driveways for $5 – now there’s a deal and they did a great job too!

3. Preparation – Part 2 – you should have an emergency kit on hand and a plan. We talk about earthquakes a lot but people have been housebound with bad weather and power outages, etc. Having flashlights, food that’s easy to cook, a wind up radio and candles are just some of the things you should always have in stock.  What is your heat source in freezing temperatures if the power goes out? (Warm clothes, fireplace if you have one with extra wood, blankets) You need to consider these things and have your checklist ready – here’s a guide you can download to help you out!

The importance of having some sort of plan can’t be stressed enough. Life is so much easier when you are prepared, pro-active and ready for action should the need arise.

Start this new year off on the right foot and take some time to get started. You’ll be glad you did.