By Iman Khan
With the arrival of Fall, can winter be far behind? As we are headed for another season of sub-zero temperatures and heaps of snow, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for Canadian immigrants who are new to the experience of living in a snow country:
Preparing your house:
1. Make sure you have a well-functioning heating unit ready to be put to a fair bit of use as winter commences. Keep a list of maintenance and emergency after-hours contact numbers ready for if and when you may need it, while in the midst of the colder months.
2. Snowstorms and resulting power outages are common during winters. Make sure to have an emergency light source, portable mobile charges and extra sets of batteries within an arm’s reach.
3. If your home is equipped with a fireplace, keep stock of dry firewood or logs. Have the chimney or flue inspected by a professional.
4. Always have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors serviced before winter kicks in. This is especially important due to rising levels of dangerous gases when space heaters and other heat-inducing sources are being used indoors.
5. Be wary of tree branches that may fall or freeze on electrical wires during a snow storm or severe weather.
6. Purchase bags of Rocksalt to de-ice your driveways for when the snow hits. It aids in melting the snow and makes it easier to shovel and clean.
7. Stock up on warm comforters, quilts or an electric blanket for use while at home.
Getting your vehicle winter-ready:
During the peak winter season, avoid long-distance travel or minimize to when it is absolutely necessary.
Check the coolant system on your car for the antifreeze level. Add more if needed.
Your automobile should be outfitted to drive in snow as roads tend to get slippery and consequently risky for safe commute. Investing in a set of studded winter tires will prevent the vehicle from skidding or sliding on icy roads.
Carry an ice scraper and a shovel in your vehicle throughout the winter months.
An extra pair of gloves, hat and scarf, torchlight and emergency flares should be kept handy in the car.
Dress up the children in several layers so that their body warmth is completely trapped in. Make sure you have the following prepped for your little ones:
2 sets of inner thermals to wear under their clothing.
Set of snow pants and jacket.
2- 3 pairs of woolen gloves/mittens (extras as these tend to get misplaced quite often).
Pair of well-insulated (-30C) snow boots is a must-have to keep toes warm and beat the wind chills during the winter months.
Wool hat or headgear to avoid heat loss through their heads.
Important! Always keep yourself updated with climate reports and severe weather advisory warnings so that you can plan ahead and stay on top of your schedule. Watch out for black ice on walkways. Being oblivious to them can cause devastating falls and injuries.
Finally, winters need not be all doom-and gloom! It is also the time to engage in fun sports for kids and adults alike. Tubing, skiing, tobogganing are just some of the activities that you can indulge in as a family to beat the winter blues and burn off some of the extra holiday pounds while you are at it!
About the Author:
Iman Khan is a new immigrant to Canada, and lives with her family in Mississauga, ON. She is the creative founder of hijabistas.net, and manages the online operations for luxury Muslim boutique –kaamilahonline.com