Severe winter storms can cause widespread damage and disruption. Heavy snow often results in paralyzed transportation systems, automobile accidents due to slippery roads and stranded vehicles. When accompanied by intense winds and extreme cold, snow can isolate entire communities. Bitter cold and severe winter storms kill more than 100 people in Canada every year. That is more than the number of Canadians killed by tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, floods, hurricanes and heat waves combined.
Ice storms are often winter’s worst hazard. The severity of ice storms depends on the accumulation of ice, the duration of the event, the location and extent of the area affected.
During a blizzard, piercing winds blow snow into drifts that can bury people, animals and possessions. The snow loads can also cause the collapse of structures. In the later stages of a blizzard whiteout conditions can be formed.
During a whiteout the snowfall is so dense that it is hard to tell the earth from the sky.
If you are indoors:
If you are outdoors:
If you are in a vehicle:
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