Severe winter weather can pose a threat to life, property, and the environment. It may include ice storms, blizzards and extreme cold, and can result in extended power outages and dangerous road conditions.
There are many ways you can prepare for severe winter weather:
Before the storm
- Check and restock your 72 hour emergency kit
- Plan to be without electricity and heat for 72 hours
- Buy any emergency supplies well in advance. Stores will be busy.
- Ensure you have snow tires installed well in advance of the winter storm season
- Make a communications plan. How are you going to get in contact with family if you’re away from home?
- Plan to check in with neighbours, family, friends and anyone who may need your help or who can help you
- Prepare a plan to help your family evacuate if needed
During the storm
- Keep warm and change out of wet clothing. Wear multiple layers, keep plenty of blankets available.
- Use your 72 hour emergency kit
- Stay indoors and avoid driving unless absolutely necessary
- If you must drive, keep on main roads and avoid unplowed side roads
- Don’t use propane stoves or barbecues indoors as they release carbon monoxide
- Bring pets indoors and ensure they are dry
- Consult safety manual when using space heaters
- Keep heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and curtains
- Check in with neighbours, family, and friends
- Evacuate if necessary or if advised to do so from officials
After the storm
- If you have no power after 72 hours, consider going to an emergency shelter or staying with friends and family.
- Consult your utility company before reconnecting power and gas
- Check in with neighbours, family, and friends
- Safely begin to clear debris around your property, such as fallen tree branches or snow
- Keep away from any fallen power lines
- Check with your local waste department for debris collection schedules
When temperatures hit 32°C or more, for three or more days, it’s considered a heat wave or conditions of extreme heat. Poor air quality can cause additional health concerns when extreme heat combines with air pollutants from industry, gas-powered vehicles, and other sources.
When extremely hot temperatures are forecast, the City offers residents places to stay cool in Mississauga. These include visiting one of our swimming pools, air-conditioned libraries, spray pads and community centres.
Humidex values measure how hot the weather feels to the average person. Under normal conditions, your body produces sweat that evaporates to cool you down. Under extreme heat, the body must work harder to maintain its normal temperature. A humidex advisory is issued when humidex values are expected to reach 40 or more. The higher the humidex, the harder it is for your body to cool itself.
Smog levels indicate and forecast the current air quality information. Most smog days in Ontario occur between May and September. When an alert is issued, avoid strenuous physical outdoor activities. If you have a heart or lung condition, consult your family doctor on how to keep healthy in the heat.
How to prepare for a heat wave
- Install window air conditioners, insulate if needed
- Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation
- Install temporary reflectors (aluminium cardboard) to reflect heat back outside
- Weather-strip doors and windows to keep cool air inside
- Cover large windows that are in direct sunlight with drapes or shades
- Stay indoors if you can
- Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty
- Dress in loose, light-coloured, lightweight clothing and cover as much skin as possible
- Use public buildings like libraries, movie theatres, shopping malls, and community facilities that are air-conditioned to cool down
Flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, and it can happen quickly and without warning. Basement flooding can also be caused by plumbing problems, sewer blockages or other back-ups.
Flood warning and forecasting
For information on flood advisories and warnings in and around Mississauga, visit:
If your home or basement has flooded, you should only contact 911 if you need assistance with rescue or evacuation.
A flooded basement is the property owner’s responsibility. You may wish to install a backflow preventer valve or a sump pump and generator or back-up power supply to help reduce damage if your basement does flood.
Find more information about stormwater.
Catch basin flooding
Roadside catch basins and grates need to be clear so that melting ice, snow and run off water can flow You can report a problem with a catch basin.
Safety after a flood
Flooding in or around your home can cause safety issues, even after the floodwater is gone. Always keep children and pets away from flooded areas.
Removing floodwater from your home
- Do not move back into your home until flood cleanup is complete
- Inspect flood damage in daylight. For darker areas like a basement, use battery powered flashlights.
- If you detect gas, leave the building immediately. To have your gas shut off contact Alectra Utilities.
- Document any damage and call the Region of Peel and your insurance company
- Make sure that water outside your home has receded before removing water from your home
- Floodwater is typically contaminated. Mould can start growing as quickly as 48 hours after flooding.
- Remove small amounts of water with pails or pumps and a wet-dry vacuum
- Use caution when removing deep water from a basement. Remove a maximum of one third of the volume daily to avoid damaging the foundation of your house.
- Open doors and windows and use fans if power is available to increase ventilation
- Have any flooded gas, electrical appliances, heating equipment and ductwork checked by a qualified technician before use
Make sure that the water supply to your home has not been contaminated. If you’re not sure, boil drinking water for ten minutes or use purification tablets. If you have questions about your tap water contact the Region of Peel.
For more information on flooding, check the Residential Guide to Flood Prevention and Recovery.