A 'Historic' Winter Storm Is Bearing Down On Quebec — Here's How To Keep Yourself Safe

Keeping an emergency kit on hand is a good plan!

Staff Writer
Cars lie covered in snow after a storm in Quebec.

Cars lie covered in snow after a storm in Quebec.

There's a massive storm coming for over 20 regions in Quebec, promising to bring snow, cold rain, hefty winds and "significant snowfall" across the province. More than one expert has used the word "historic" as the weather system approaches.

"The models point to a historic storm, especially for the northern part of the river (due to an orographic [mountain-related] effect), in terms of snow amount and wind," Alain Lepine, a McGill atmospheric and oceanic sciences graduate, wrote on Twitter.

The head of MétéoMédia's meteorology department, André Monette, told the Journal de Québec, "This is really a major system. From west to east, from Abitibi to the North Shore, for 99% of the population, we will feel the effects. It is an exceptional pattern that we rarely see. That's why it's almost a historic storm."

As the weather will be strong enough to threaten power lines, it's important to keep an emergency kit as recommended by both the government directly and Hydro-Quebec. Especially when temperatures are dropping, your emergency plan can keep things toasty and safe.

What should you keep in an emergency kit?

Hydro-Quebec says the following items should be kept in your emergency kit at all times:

  • "Flashlight
  • Spare batteries
  • First-aid supplies
  • Supplies for people with special needs
  • Battery-powered radio or portable charger
  • Warm blankets
  • Non-perishable food
  • Copy of your list of telephone numbers – home and business
  • Games, books or other pastimes to entertain everyone until service is restored"
Quebec's government resources also suggest keeping candles and a lighter or matches.

What else can you do to stay warm and safe during a power outage?

While the power's out, keep up with the latest information using your phone or your battery-powered radio. The government suggests that you disconnect electronics, including appliances, besides the fridge to "avoid overloading the system when power is restored." They also recommend that you keep one light on in each floor of your home.

It's also important to be wary of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure not to use cooking or heating devices made for outside use, as these can increase your risk of carbon monoxide inhalation.

What if the power outage lasts a long time?

If things aren't getting better over several days, especially if your home is becoming untenably cold, the government recommends that you talk to your municipality about public temporary shelters. Before leaving, Quebec suggests that you take the following items:

  • "Medications
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra clothes
  • Blankets
  • Money
  • Identification documents
  • Car and house keys
  • Milk, bottles and diapers for infants
  • Electronic devices and accessories for connecting them
  • Items for the wellbeing of family members with special needs"

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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