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Helpful Tips to Prepare for Snow Events

Here is some helpful information to assist you with preparing for snowy days:


  • Let someone else do the driving and take London Transit.
  • If you do choose to drive, be prepared for winter driving conditions. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Winter Driving: Be Prepared, Be Safe! is a good source of winter driving information.
  • Drive for the conditions: travel slower and be observant of your surroundings.
  • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Tools like a shovel or sand can help you get back on the road. Should you become stuck for a long period of time things like blankets are important. Here is a list to consider.
  • Clear snow from the sidewalk in front of your house, and be a good neighbour by offering to clear snow for elderly neighbours.
  • Don’t push snow onto the road. This does apply to the clearing of your own driveway or sidewalk. Both the Highway Traffic Act and the City of London Streets By-Law prohibit placing snow or ice on a roadway.
  • Help us plow the streets.  Avoid parking on City streets during the day and observe the ban prohibiting overnight parking on City streets between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. so our plows can do a more thorough job of clearing roadways.
  • If you have a driveway, please remember residents are responsible for clearing the windrows (snow piles) that are sometimes left behind.
  • Please clear the snow from around fire hydrants; this will ensure they are easier to see, and get to, when needed.
  • Shovel safely.  Shovelling is a strenuous activity which can place strain on your heart.  Avoid shoveling if you have a history of heart attacks, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol and find a friend, neighbour or shoveling service to help you instead.
  • Dress appropriately for snow clearing and pace yourself: start slow, take frequent breaks and try to push the snow instead of lifting it.  Protect your back by bending at the knees, keep the shovel close to your body, keep your feet hip-width apart and avoid twisting. Read the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Fact Sheet What you should know before you start shovelling.
  • Teach your children about the dangers of playing on frozen open water, including rivers and storm water management ponds. Avoid tunnelling into snow piles where children are not visible for snow plows.
  • During extreme weather events vulnerable people may require shelter. The City and partners will open warming centres once an event is declared by the Middlesex London Health Unit.
  • In an extreme winter weather event, it is possible you may not be able to leave your home for days. In such an emergency people may have to be self-sufficient for 72 hours.  Please ensure your home or business has an emergency kit at the ready.
  • Garbage and recycling collection continues unless the City declares it is postponed, but the collection process could take longer than normal, impacted by the weather.
  • To report a downed power line, tree limbs on lines, electrical equipment that is sparking and dangerous, or a power outage call the 24/7 London Hydro emergency number immediately 519-661-5555.
  • The public can view Environment Canada Alerts for the London area on its website or to receive notices directly can follow their London area Twitter weather alert account @ECAlertON137.

During a major winter storm event, the City of London will communicate updates using Twitter and Facebook. Read more about the City’s road and sidewalk Winter Maintenance program, including answers to frequently asked questions. 

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