Agency Resources Tips & How-Tos

Tips to keep neighbours safe during winter storms

Written by #TeamNextdoor

While snow days may be exciting for some, winter storms can lead to extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, high winds, and power outages posing a safety risk. As public agencies experience congestion and high call volumes, Nextdoor is a place neighbours can turn to stay connected, communicate about relevant local information, and ask for or lend help to nearby neighbours. 

Below are the some winter safety tips from national and local authorities:

  • If you don’t have to drive, stay off the roads.
  • Don’t heat your home with your stove or oven as carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless and can make you sick, or worse, take your life.
  • If you are using a generator, use it outside in a well-ventilated area – do not use it in a garage. 
  • If you are using your car to get warm, do not turn on and run your car in a garage – you must be outside.
  • Be sure to plug in your space heater directly into the outlet and keep them far away from things that can catch fire like furniture and blankets.
  • Know the warning signs of hypothermia and seek emergency help if any symptoms arise.

Remember to continue following public health  guidance to stay safe from COVID-19. 

Here are some ways Nextdoor can connect you to your neighbours during a snow storm:

  • If you are able to help a neighbour in need such as shovelling their snow, picking up groceries for those who may not want or may not be able to safely get to the store, add yourself to Nextdoor’s Help Map
  • If you need any help, search the Help Map to find and contact neighbours that have offered to lend a hand or post your request in the neighbourhood newsfeed.
  • Send a private message to check on neighbours that may be older, injured, or live alone.
  • Send out urgent alerts to reach neighbours immediately with time sensitive information.
  • Stay informed with up-to-date and trusted information directly from your local public agencies.

Tips for safely shovelling snow:

  • Dress warmly and in layers
  • Stay hydrated, drink lots of water
  • Snack on complex carbs
  • Take breaks every 5 minutes
  • Shovel small scoops of snow an inch or two at a time
  • Lift with your legs – not your back
  • Shovel every few hours to keep the snow from piling up

When shovelling sidewalks, please clear enough room to allow people who use wheelchairs and mobility aids to pass safely. Don’t forget to shovel out fire hydrants as extra seconds save lives.

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