The City of Vernon is looking to keep everyone safe ahead of an expected cold snap.
Environment Canada is forecasting periods of snow over the weekend and falling temperatures for the week ahead. Beginning as early as Sunday, temperatures are expected to dip as low as -16 or -17 C.
As the North Okanagan heads into this period of colder weather, the city is reminding residents to be aware of the forecast and potential winter storms.
Residents are reminded to:
• Check the weather forecast before going outside; pay attention to both the temperature and the wind chill factor
• Plan ahead and limit your time outside
• Dress in layers, with a wind resistant outer layer; wear a toque or hat, mittens and a scarf to cover exposed skin; wear warm and waterproof footwear
• Seek shelter from the wind
• Stay dry; if you are wearing too many layers and begin to sweat, unzip or remove a layer
• Stay active while outside to generate body heat
• Be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention immediately, if required
• Have an emergency plan in place, including a 72-hour kit, candles, food and water in case of a power outage or poor travel conditions
• Check DriveBC before traveling, and if road conditions are poor, avoid unnecessary travel until conditions improve
• If you must travel, motorists are reminded to slow down, drive to potentially changing road conditions, give yourself additional time to reach your destination, and look carefully for pedestrians and other travellers.
Those clearing snow from sidewalks or their driveways can keep the following tips in mind to increase safety:
• Remove snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to your property within 24 hours of the end of the snowfall (as per Traffic Bylaw #5600);
• Pile snow on grass areas where possible and never around fire hydrants, on bus stops, or over storm drains;
• When shoveling snow off your driveway, store the snow on the left side of the driveway (when facing the property) and do not push it into the street. This will increase visibility when leaving your driveway, and will make the road safer for other motorists;
• Park vehicles off-street wherever possible to allow snowplows to clear a larger portion of the road; and
• Keep children, pets and yourself a safe distance away from heavy snow clearing equipment.
The city thanked residents for their work in clearing sidewalks and for having patience as crews tackle the aftermath of winter storms when they arise.