Winter Preparedness and Safety

Extreme Cold Event Update  - January 10, 2024

Due to extreme cold temperatures forecast across the region for the week, effective Friday January 12, 2024 Coquitlam will open daytime warming centres for those seeking relief from the cold. The City is providing the following public drop-in daytime warming centres for anyone, in particular vulnerable residents:

City Centre Aquatic Complex (1210 Pinetree Way)

  • Friday, January 12– 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 
  • Saturday, January 13 – 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 
  • Sunday, January 14 – 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Parking fees are waived during warming centre activation.

Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (633 Poirier St.) 

  • Friday,  January 12 – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • Saturday, January 13 – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • Sunday, January 14 – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Free parking available.

Both of the above facilities are accessible via public transit, and are open to everyone. Staff will provide water, washroom access and seating to visitors. In the event you are unable to provide care for your pet and require support, please call the Animal Shelter at 604-927-7378.

More information is available at this link.

Anyone looking for a spot to step out of the cold is also welcome to warm up in the main public areas of any Coquitlam recreation facility during their regular operating hours. For a complete listing of City recreation facilities, visit 

For the most up to date public safety information, including a full list of warming centers available in the region please visit the Emergency Map at

Preparedness for Winter

Before a winter storm arrives, plan ahead, so you can comfortably and safely carry on during the winter season.

  • Make arrangements with family members who may be elderly or have limited mobility issues and who do not live with you - help them prepare for winter.
  • Get your home winterized — have your furnace inspected, shut off outside water, and clear the catch basins around your property of debris. 
  • Assess the trees on your property and trim dead branches to reduce the danger of them falling onto power lines or your house during a storm.
  • Winterize your vehicle and, when it snows, drive only with good winter tires and if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Make alternate plans for getting to work in the snow - take transit to work.
  • Expect winter driving conditions.
  • Be sure to have warm clothing and solid shoes or boots with good traction.
  • Assemble a basic emergency supplies kit (PDF) to help your family be self-sufficient for 72 hours.

Planning Ahead


  • Plan ahead for power outages that can last for a few minutes or longer - have a flashlight, electric lantern, extra batteries, battery packs or a charged laptop acting as a battery pack to charge your mobile device.
  • Consider an alternative safe, heating system - choose approved heating units that do not depend on an electrical device to function. Check with the dealer or manufacturer regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.
  • Use caution and follow directions when operating generators, insuring they are in a proper well-ventilated area.
  • Have your furnace and fireplace inspected and ensure it is in good working order.
  • Never use a camp stove, barbecue, or propane or kerosene heater indoors.

Vehicle Preparation

Colder temperatures demand a lot of your vehicle so it’s important to prepare for the winter season. Visit a qualified technician to ensure your vehicle is ready for winter with proper maintenance, winter tires chains and a small, portable Grab-and-Go Kit (PDF) to help you in the case of an emergency.

Winter Driving Tips

Preparedness Tips for Power Outages

The most common occurrence during a rain/wind storm is often extended periods of power outage mainly due to trees and other debris impacting power lines. Visit our Power Outages Preparedness Information page to learn more about how you can prepare.

Personal Winter Safety

There are also a number of precautions you can take which will help to comfortably get through the winter season safely:

  • Dress appropriately for the inclement weather. Protect exposed skin and help prevent heat loss by wearing a hat, scarf, mittens or gloves.
  • Choose well-insulated and waterproof footwear that has a thick, non-slip tread sole, a wide and low heel and is light in weight.
  • Always, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic and pay close attention.
  • When you see a snow plow approaching, please move to the inside of the sidewalk, and stay far away from the road when it passes.
  • Allow extra time to get to your destination whether you are walking, taking transit or driving - slow down.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. A covered patch of ice or a pothole filled with snow may cause an unexpected slip or fall.
  • Stay at home, unless you absolutely need to travel when weather conditions are bad.
  • Run errands during daylight hours whenever possible since it is easier to see slippery spots.
  • Be careful when shoveling snow - although there is limited physical action, the strain of shoveling can put a strain on a person’s heart. People with a heart condition should use caution. Use a smaller shovel, take your time and see a doctor if you experience discomfort.
    • If you are a resident of Coquitlam and unable to shovel your own adjacent city sidewalk due to a physical disability or restriction (not including personal walkways/driveways), over the age of 65 or concerned that the physical exertion from a heavy snowfall is too much, consider applying to access our Snow Angel program.
  • Stay off of the ice on lakes and ponds during the winter as the ice is too thin and poses a safety risk. Ice is not thick enough to support people or animals.
  • Students should use caution walking to and from school when it has snowed, and when playing in the snow.
  • Children and youth should  take care when sledding and tobogganing. Please visit this info from Parachute Canada, a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives.

Winter Wise Program

Please check out the information on our Winter Wise Program webpage to help you learn about the City’s operations during winter storm events and other winter preparedness tips as well as your responsibilities and how to be prepared for any emergency.