Possible snowfall of 15 to 30 centimetres headed our way. Are you prepared?

Weather forecasters are predicting that most of the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario will receive a possible snowfall of 15 to 30 centimetres over the next 12 to 24 hours, with totals varying depending on lake effect. Are you prepared?

Even the most determined of road warriors can get stuck in heavy snow

Katherine Branton, manager of York University’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, says that every vehicle should have an emergency kit. “It is very important to have a car emergency kit in your vehicle at all times,” says Branton.

“If your vehicle gets stuck due to heavy snow or a road closure, it is very important to have an emergency kit that will keep you safe until help arrives,” she adds.

If you have a car, prepare an emergency car kit and keep it in the vehicle. According to the Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website, a basic emergency kit for cars should include the following items:

  • Food – that won’t spoil, such as energy bars, chocolate bars, granola bars or other dried snacks (change every few months)
  • Water – in plastic bottles so they won’t break if frozen (change every six months)
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • First aid kit – with seatbelt cutter
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind-up flashlight
  • Whistle – in case you need to attract attention
  • Roadmaps
  • Copy of your emergency plan and personal documents

Also keep these items inside your trunk:

  • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
  • Antifreeze/windshield washer fluid
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light or road flares

Branton also encourages everyone to learn first aid. “First aid is important to know and you could save a life,” she says.

In case of heavy snow…

York University Security Services continuously monitors weather conditions and the latest forecasts.  A decision to declare a weather emergency will normally be made:

  • by 5:30am, for suspension of daytime operations and cancellation/postponement of daytime classes, exams and activities (with locations/campuses affected);
  • before 5pm, for suspension of evening operations and cancellation/postponement of evening classes, exams and activities (with locations/campus affected)
  • by 9pm, for suspension of night-time operations (with locations/campuses affected)

Once the day’s operations, classes, exams and activities have commenced, should conditions necessitate it. a weather emergency may be declared at any time. For more information, visit the York University Weather Status website.

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