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Winter Prep

Tips to Protect Your Home This Winter

Mike Holmes smiling
Mike Holmes smiling

HGTV’s Mike Holmes provides tips on how Canadians can ensure their homes are protected and prepared for the winter season.


Invest in a generator (portable or home standby)

To reduce the impact of unexpected power outages, invest in some backup power. A generator will allow you to have power even during major outages. A portable generator is an ideal option if you want to run a few appliances, lights, a radio or phones, while a standby generator will keep your whole home running. Regardless of its type, a generator offers you peace of mind, knowing that you and your family will be protected during power outages.

Emergency kit & disaster plan

Make sure you have a fully-stocked emergency kit and disaster plan. Your emergency kit should include first aid items (such as bandages, tape, and disinfectant), as well as a flashlight, batteries, canned food, bottled water, and essential medication. Ensure it’s stocked to get you and your family through a minimum of 48 hours without power.

Review your emergency kits every three months to check that everything’s in working order and hasn’t expired. Ensure you and your family have a game plan and know all emergency exit locations in your home, and agree on a safe place to meet if you get separated. Code requires you to have at least two ways to evacuate your home safely.

Whole-home surge protection

Extreme weather events put added stress on our electrical infrastructure, often resulting in power surges or brownouts. These surges can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your appliances and electronics. Many homeowners use surge strips (a power bar with a shut-off switch), but these only offer partial protection for that particular outlet. A whole-home surge protector protects your whole home.

Small surges or spikes can destroy your appliances and electronics over time. A whole-home surge protector installed by a licensed electrician prevents any electrical surges from traveling through your home, protecting your appliances. Today, many of our appliances and devices are computer-controlled, so it makes sense to protect them from power surges.

A lot of shelters are facing challenges in facility upkeep that impact how they can support people experiencing homelessness. How can their communities help out?

Communities can support local shelters by making a donation or asking local businesses to help with modifications, repairs, or upgrades. Every shelter and charity is struggling right now, especially with the additional challenges of COVIID-19. The pandemic has shown us we need to support the communities we live in, not shut ourselves in. Charity begins at home.

What are some ways you’re giving back to youth experiencing homelessness this winter season?

I support a lot of local charities and youth organizations, but youth experiencing homelessness should know that there are support groups and options out there. I know it’s not easy, but with a support network, you can make your situation better. If you have specific goals or aspirations, find a mentor or support system that can help. Learning a skilled trade, for example, can open so many opportunities for you and provide financial stability. If you’re interested in the skilled trades, talk to someone and ask for help.

Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth

It’s so critical for communities to come together at times like this. By working together, we can be supportive for charities providing services to homeless people, including youth experiencing homelessness. Agencies like Eva’s Initiatives support youth to build their dreams and achieve their goals through programming, but they need support to continue these programs. The skilled trades are just one road for young people experiencing homelessness and it’s critical we support organizations who are building pathways out of homelessness. To learn how you can help, fill out the form below and a representative from Eva’s will get in touch.

Eva's Initiatives for Homeless Youth logo
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