Ontario Newsroom

Be Ready for a Winter Emergency

News Release

Be Ready for a Winter Emergency

Ontario Government Reminding Families to Take Steps to Prepare Homes, Cars

As cold weather settles over Ontario and snow blankets many areas of the province, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is offering tips to make sure Ontarians are ready for winter emergencies.

A few simple steps will help families prepare their homes and cars for emergencies or winter power outages:

  • Every Ontario family should have an emergency survival kit that includes, food, water, a flashlight and medication needed to be safe and for at least three days after a disaster.
  • Inspect your existing kit to replace any out-of-date food or beverages.
  • Install or inspect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms -- they can be electrically powered, battery powered, or a combination of both.
  • Have a winter driving survival kit in your car that includes a shovel, blanket, extra clothing and footwear.
  • In a power outage, use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles or hurricane lamps. If you must use a candle, place it in a secure holder, cover it with a glass chimney, and keep it away from children and pets.
  • Ensure you use portable generators, space heaters and barbecues safely.
  • If you must be outside during cold weather or a snowstorm, avoid overexertion, wear several layers of clothing, wear waterproof and insulated boots and regularly check for frostbite.
  • If you lose heating in your home, keep water running, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Quick Facts

  • In an average year, more Canadians die from exposure to winter cold than from tornadoes, lightning and windstorms combined.
  • The coldest day on record in Ontario occurred on Dec. 29, 1933, with temperatures of – 38.9° C in Ottawa and – 45° C in Algonquin Park.

Additional Resources


“The holiday season is the ideal time to learn how we can prepare for winter storms, cold weather and difficult driving conditions. I encourage all Ontarians to do their part to ensure their families stay safe and are ready to face winter emergencies.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“The winter months can be a dangerous time for home fires and carbon monoxide risks. Put together an emergency survival kit and pay close attention to potential fire and carbon monoxide hazards related to the use of generators and alternative forms of heating.”

Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek

Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management

Media Contacts

  • Seirge LeBlanc

    Minister's Office


  • Carol Gravelle

    Office Of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management




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