Calgarians urged to prepare for incoming cold snap

Many Calgarians enjoyed the weekend-long break from frigid temperatures, but just when it seemed safe to go outside, another blast of winter is heading this way.

Lows back into the -30s are expected this week, along with snow and high winds. After a somewhat hectic cold stretch to finish off 2021, there are ways to prevent frozen pipes and stalled vehicles before the mercury plunges once again.

“It’s been really busy for us because all of the frozen lines,” plumber Micheal Brock told CTV News. “We had a few days of more than 100 calls, and of the major ones, probably about 90 per cent were preventable.”

Brock, who owns Mr. Mikes Plumbing, says there are things Calgarians can do to save themselves a massive bill when the incoming frigid temperatures hit.

“The biggest thing that all homeowners can do is pull out your furnace and inspect it,” he said. “If it looks dirty, just change it. Also check outside and clear any ice that’s stuck there (built-up on pipes).”

And if you know your home insulation is prone to problems, Brock says to consider leaving the taps running at a low drip.

“Especially if you’ve got an old house,” he said.

Vehicle prep is also important.

Make sure any trucks or cars are plugged in overnight, and fill your tires and gas tank.

Helene Hamilton with Calgary EMS also recommends having “an emergency kit available to you in your vehicle, in case there are problems.”

“Even if it’s just a quick run outside, dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear,” Hamilton said.

If you’re working outside, try to take a break every 10 to 15 minutes. Also keep an eye out for signs of hypothermia, like confusion or difficulty speaking.

And, as always, there’s one foolproof way of staying warm.

“If you can stay indoors when we get into those extreme cold temperatures, prevention is always key,” Hamilton said.

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