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  • Victoria Jackson

Winter is Here! - Preparing for Winter in Canada

It’s safe to say many people in Sydney were surprised by the first snow of the year which occurred on Monday, November 21, 2022. For those who have never experienced a cold winter, it is important to learn how to prepare for one. Inclement weather is a thing that we all encounter, more problematic if you don’t have your own means of transport. And even if you do, inclement weather brings its own challenges.

Proper clothing

Given Cape Breton gets some serious wind, and it is frequently raining or snowing, it is essential to stay warm and dry. When dressing for winter in Nova Scotia, layering is always a good choice. This allows you to stay cozy outside and take off layers if you're too warm. Winter clothing essentials include: a warm winter coat, winter boots, mittens or gloves, and a warm hat.

When looking for a good coat for the winter, make sure it is windproof and waterproof, as this will give protection from all the winter weather Cape Breton gets. To pick out a good pair of winter boots, make sure they are waterproof and warm.

A good winter hat will be one which has multiple layers of fabric or is made from heavy material. When deciding to use mittens or gloves, mittens tend to be warmer, but they limit your hand’s dexterity. When choosing mittens or gloves, make sure they are made from a heavy material. It is best if they are waterproof as well if you plan on using them in the snow.

Monitoring The Weather

In Nova Scotia the weather can change quite quickly, so being well-informed with regards to upcoming weather is important especially during the winter.

Setting up weather alerts on your phone is a good idea to ensure you are informed as soon as possible of any major weather event. Being aware of serious weather concerns is important to ensure safety, as it allows time to prepare for them.

Common Winter Issues

Snowstorms are some of the most exciting parts of winter. To prepare for a snowstorm, one must be prepared for a power outage. Having food that does not need to stay cold, water, and an alternate heating source is important. The Red Cross has an excellent set of instructions on how to prepare for snowstorms which can be found here.

Driving in the winter can be dangerous. If it is recommended by the government or local police that you do not drive, there is good reason. For winter driving tips and what to include in a winter emergency car kit, the Government of Canada has some good tips which can be found here.

In the winter sidewalks and roads can be very slippery. Black ice (not the beverage!), ice that is not visible, is the cause of many winter wipeouts. Making sure that you watch where you're walking and use the penguin technique can help to prevent falls. The penguin method includes walking with your feet pointing outwards and talking short steps. For more information on the penguin walk, watch the video.


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