Dec 05, 2018 Return to Headlines

Now is the Time to Get Winter Wise

by Michelle Frilund |

COQUITLAM, BC, Dec. 5, 2018 – With winter just around the corner, and snow potentially in the forecast, now is the time to make sure you are Winter Wise in Coquitlam.

Get Winter Wise
Winter weather in the Lower Mainland can mean all kinds of weather including snow and ice, or wind and rain that can cause flooding and power failures.

While crews are always out in full force 24/7 during weather events, it’s up to all residents to be prepared for the winter season before the weather happens. Find out more and review all tips at www.coquitlam.ca/winterwise

Otherwise, the following tips can help to minimize disruptions and keep you and your family safe and comfortable when bad weather hits.

When it Snows

  • During a snow event, City roads are plowed according to a priority system that supports the greater public safety and public transportation access. To find out what priority your street is, visit www.coquitlam.ca/winterwise.
  • Report areas of concern using our real-time Snow Reporting Response Tool available at www.coquitlam.ca/winterwise.
  • As a responsible neighbour and citizen, it is important to clear all the sidewalks around your home within 10 hours of the snow stopping.
  • Do not shovel your snow onto the roadway. To ensure that the plow does not push the snow back onto your sidewalk and driveway, we recommend shoveling onto your yard and to the right of your driveway.

Home and Property

  • Clean the catch basin grates near your property regularly to prevent flooding.
  • Assess your trees and trim dead branches to reduce the danger of them falling on power lines or your house during a storm.
  • Have flashlights, electric lanterns and extra batteries on hand, and make sure you have an emergency kit.
  • Shut off your outside water to protect outdoor faucets and other plumbing.
  • Isolate and winterize your automatic irrigation systems.
  • Consider an alternate safe heating system in case of power failures (not gas, propane or kerosene, which cannot be used inside). Make sure to follow directions and only use outside in well ventilated areas, where the exhaust cannot enter the home.


  • Take transit if you are not comfortable driving in the snow, or if roads are impassable or dangerous.
  • Drive only with good snow tires. They are made to handle snow, ice and lower temperatures better than winter-rated all-season tires.
  • Have a mechanic winterize your vehicle and make sure it is working properly.
  • Keep a small, portable emergency kit in your vehicle with food, water, extra clothing, first aid supplies and other necessities (download a checklist on the Winter Preparedness & Safety page at www.coquitlam.ca/winterprep).

You and Your Loved Ones

  • When heading outside, wear warm clothing and solid shoes or boots with good traction, or at least bring them with you.
  • Make arrangements with loved ones who are elderly or have limited mobility and live on their own to help them prepare for winter.
  • Don’t let important prescriptions, supplies or foodstuffs run too low in case the weather prevents you from restocking.
  • If a snowplow approaches while you are out walking, move to the inside of the sidewalk and stay far away from the road while it passes.

Be a Good Neighbour

  • If you are able, please consider helping your neighbour clear their catch basin, shovel their sidewalk, or move their garbage carts – especially if they are elderly or have limited mobility.
  • During periods of extended snow, consider checking up on neighbours who are elderly or have limited mobility.
  • Consider volunteering to be a Snow Angel and helping someone clear their driveway or sidewalk. Full details at www.coquitlam.ca/snowangels.

Changes to Garbage Collection

  • Heavy snowfall can affect the ability for garbage trucks to get to certain areas of the community.
  • If your garbage and / or green cart has not been collected by 7 p.m., please bring it in for the night and place it out again at the curbside by 7:30 a.m. the next morning. If it still isn’t collected, please bring them in again and wait until your next regularly scheduled collection day.
  • For the latest information on garbage collection, consider downloading the Coquitlam Curbside Collection app available in your App or Google Play store.

Be Winter Wise
Coquitlam’s Winter Wise program kicks into gear each winter to minimize the impact of snow, ice, storms and colder temperatures. While the City works to keep roads safe and reduce service disruptions, residents are encouraged to do their part by clearing sidewalks and catch basins, parking off-street to allow for plowing, and being prepared for extended power failures or impassable roads. Go to www.coquitlam.ca/winterwise for tips and information. 

Media Contact
Brad Lofgren
Director, Public Works