Extreme weather

Because we're situated between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the North Shore gets a lot of severe weather, including heavy rain and strong winds.

Our sloping terrain, and many creeks, ravines, and greenbelts, amplify many of the impacts of severe weather.

Heat

On hot, humid days, your body has to work harder to maintain a normal temperature. You may find yourself breathing rapidly, feeling weak, faint, confused, or headachy. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can follow and hot temperatures can also worsen existing health conditions.

How to prepare

  • Listen or watch for weather warnings on radio, TV, and social media
  • Check the humidex. A high humidex can be very dangerous to your health
  • Consider purchasing a portable air conditioner

What to do during extreme heat

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids, especially water
  • If you don't have air conditioning, go to a mall, library, or community centre
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, or awnings
  • Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels
  • Check twice a day on friends and family members who are elderly or have special needs

If you go outdoors

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-coloured clothing
  • Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities to the coolest time of the day
  • If working outside, monitor co-workers and have them do the same for you

Caring for your pets

  • Never leave pets in parked cars during hot temperatures
  • Bring pets inside during the hottest time of the day
  • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for outdoor pets

Learn more about extreme heat

Get notified of extreme weather

Cold and snow

Winter storms can occur on the North Shore and cause power outages, blocked roads, icy conditions, and extremely cold temperatures.

It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

How to prepare

Winterize your home by insulating walls and attics, caulking, weather stripping doors and windows, and insulating pipes. Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.

If there is a cold weather or snow warning

Review your household emergency plan. Listen or watch for updates on radio, TV, and social media. Prepare an emergency kit and have the BC Hydro number ready in case you need to report an outage. 

What to do during extreme cold and snow

Seek warm shelter immediately and listen or watch for updates on radio, TV, and social media. Allow faucets to drip a little to avoid freezing up.

If you go outdoors

Dress appropriately. Wind chill can cause cooler temperatures to occur. Limit your time out and watch out for signs of frostbite or hypothermia.

Take care when shoveling. Vigorous exercise and cold temperatures can cause high blood pressure and accelerated heart rates. Be cautious when walking on icy streets.

Phone 9-1-1 if you see utility lines or poles down, or see any sparks, flames or smoke.

If you must drive

Travel in the day, don’t travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.

Learn more about snow and cold

Get notified of extreme weather

Heavy rain

Heavy rains can cause localized flooding, fluctuating water levels, swift moving water, landslides, debris flows, and hazardous road conditions.

Knowing the hazards of heavy rain helps minimize potentially dangerous situations.

How to prepare

Keep your gutters clear of debris. Check the storm drains in front of your home and clear away any leaves from the openings. This will enable rain water to get into the storm water system and help to prevent or minimize flooding.

If you live near waterways, stay alert for changing conditions and rising water levels. Creeks can be hazardous since their channels tend to be narrow and they can fill up very quickly.

Creeks and rivers can jump their banks and eroding banks can result in unstable ground.

What to do during heavy rain

Keep yourself, children, and pets away from waterways. Monitor local media for updates.

On the road, drive carefully, slow down, and give yourself more time to get where you are going. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

Roads covered with pooled flood waters can be dangerous to drive on. 

Get notified of extreme weather