In The Event of a Winter Storm

Un homme déterminé part pelleter de la neige dans un blizzard

With reports of extreme weather affecting parts of Canada the Allstate Canada Good Hands Advice has provided its recommendations for what to do in the event of a winter storm.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

  • Stay Informed.  A battery-operated radio will help you to stay informed on weather developments.
  • Stay Indoors. It is recommended to keep everyone, including your pets, indoors. Only travel outside when it is safe and if you are able to do so. If you need to go outside to clear snow, dress in layers, take breaks and stretch in between shovelling.
  • Stay Warm. Dress warm and have a supply of blankets available for all members of the household. Dressing in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a single bulky sweater.
  • Keep Temperature Inside The Home Mild. To help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, keep your home heated to a minimum of 18°C. If temperatures dip very low, open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Inspect Your Pipes. If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately (such as wrapping pipes in warm towels or using a hot air from a hair dryer), or turn off the main water line and call a plumber for assistance.
  • Eat Regularly and Stay Hydrated. While managing food supplies, eating small portions regularly provides your body with the energy to produce its own heat and staying hydrated prevents dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine is not recommended as they can cause a loss of body heat, even in warm drinks.
  • Conserve Fuel.  As winter storms can last a few days, conserving battery power, gas and other fuel (oil, propane, etc.) is important. Close-off unused rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and covering windows at night helps prevent heat from escaping.
  • Check on Others. If safe to do so, check-in on relatives, neighbours and friends, if they are elderly or live alone.

After a Winter Storm

  • Stay Safe. In all cases, safety comes first so do not put yourself in harm’s way.
  • Stay Informed. Continue to listen to local news and weather updates on current conditions and safety notices.
  • Stay Indoors. Avoid leaving or traveling outside of your home or shelter until conditions have improved.
  • Check the Status of Your Roof. Once the storm has passed, check the snow accumulation levels on your roof, particularly on the downwind side where blowing snow typically collects. Consult a professional contractor who can remove excess ice and snow safely. Excess snow can be heavy and can also lead to ice dams.
  • Clear snow and ice from basement stairwells, window wells, gutters and around walls.
  • Keep sidewalks and front steps clear of ice and snow to help prevent falls around your home.
  • Clear snow from gas or propane meters and exhaust vents.
  • Notify your Insurer. If you become aware of any damage to your home or vehicle because of the winter storm, contact your insurance company.

Contacting Your Insurance

Should you need to reach out to your insurance company for assistance after sustaining damages it is important that you remember to:

  • Take photos and document all damage to your vehicle or property.
  • Mitigate additional damage as best as possible. If it’s safe, remove any debris and keep the area safe for yourself and other residents.
  • Contact your insurance provider to submit a claim, providing them with details on the date and time of loss, a list of damaged items and (if possible) photos or videos of the damage.
  • Remain safe. Do not risk your health or safety when assessing damage.

If you are you are an Allstate policy holder within the impacted areas, our Claims team remains ready to support you. They can be reached at the appropriate number below. Alternatively, if you’re registered for myAllstate, you can submit a claim online:

Toll free: 1.800.561.7222
Local: 506.859.7820

Toll free: 1.800.661.1577
Local: 403.974.8700

Toll free: 1.800.387.0462
Local: 905.477.5550

Toll free: 1.800.463.2813
Local: 514.351.5335

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.