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Preparing for a Winter Storm

Winter storms can be treacherous and damaging if you are unprepared. They can disrupt power supply and transportation and create home and personal safety issues. When you are building your family emergency plan review and discuss safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do.

How you can help

  • Remove snow from fire hydrants and drainage catch basins near your property.
  • Do not push snow from your property back onto the street. It is illegal and it obstructs the work that our operators are doing.
  • Pile snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the road) when shovelling. This helps minimize the ridge of snow (windrow) created by the snow plow at the end of your driveway.
  • Remove plowed snow at the end of your driveway (see above bullet). Snow plow operators must push snow to the curb or shoulder which can possibly cover recently shovelled driveways.
  • Avoid on-street parking. Parking Control By-law 2005-188 prohibits the parking of vehicles on streets at any time if it interferes with snow removal operations. Parked vehicles which interfere with snow removal are subject to a $150 fine and/or towing. (Note: Parking of vehicles between 2:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. is prohibited year-round on all City streets - unless otherwise noted or allowed by a City-issued permit.)

General tips in the event of a winter storm

If you are indoors:

  • Listen to the radio and/or television for weather reports and emergency information.
  • Markham’s daily updates on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress for the weather to avoid serious cold-related injuries.
  • Keep water running. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

If you are outdoors:

  • Avoid overexertion when shovelling snow. If you must shovel snow, ensure you take frequent breaks so as not to over-stress your body.
  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • It is important to regularly check for frostbite. Symptoms may include numbness or white areas on your face and extremities (ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet in particular).
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Additional Information

For more information about City of Markham snow removal contact the Contact Centre at 905-475-4866 or customerservice@markham.ca