How to survive the snowpocalypse: Advice for Vancouver from the rest of Canada
How you, your home and your car can survive an honest-to-goodness Canadian winter
An honest-to-goodness Canadian winter is pretty rare in southern B.C., but don't worry — the rest of Canada has our back.
OK, you can be sure they're gently mocking how we're handling the cold weather, too, but as the region prepares for possible lows of –20 C this week, other Canadians have some tips.
For example, when it comes to winterizing your home, Judi Vandenbrink, the president of Eco-consulting in Calgary, says a good thing to do is an exterior walkabout to look for obvious openings in the home that can let the cold in.
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"There's also insulators you can put behind light switches on the exterior walls," she told On The Coast's Jason D'Souza. "It would be very advisable to find these … it makes a huge difference."
Another tip of hers is to put plastic insulating film on windows to seal out the cold and also to examine the caulking and window stripping around doors
And don't forget to think of your furnace: Vandenbrink says now would be a good time to check out the filter and make sure it's clean in order to increase efficiency.
Stay safe on the roads
Even though it was a video of Montreal's winter traffic chaos that captured international attention this week, British Columbians, especially in Vancouver, are routinely mocked for their winter driving.
Evan Gamblin, an instructor at the Motorsport Club of Ottawa's Winter Driving School, says it doesn't have to be such an adventure.
Clean snow off the vehicle, even from the roof, he says. Leave long gaps for stopping distance. And if you start to skid or slide down a hill, remember to pump your brakes if you don't have anti-lock brakes, and in any case, steer where you want to go.
"You should try and stay out of existing wheel marks if you can … snow will usually give you more traction than an area someone's been spinning their tires in," he said.
"If all else fails, just pull over to the side of the road and let other folks by. That's the best advice I can give you."
Gamblin says to consider getting winter tires — they may be pricey, but they're probably cheaper than an accident.
Dress to impress — or at least to stay warm
But if you have to brave the elements outside the comfort of your home or car, Cam Dempster with Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto says you want to limit the amount of skin you have exposed.
Get a hat and consider face protection if things are windy, for example.
"Avoid cotton socks or something that's not going to move moisture away from your body," he said. "[Footwear] with some really great traction can be really helpful in those icy situations."
And if you're planning on getting some outdoor activity, consider wearing wool, which can keep the moisture from sweating off your body.
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast