“There’s no question that it’s going to have major impacts,” he says. “Is it going to be devastating or just major-damaging?”

Read more

Winter road and weather conditions change quickly – So should your driving

Road and weather conditions change quickly during winter. Drivers should be prepared to adjust their driving behaviour to match the conditions and address potential hazards.

On average, each year in British Columbia, the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October – approximately 236 crashes in December compared to approximately 117 in October (ICBC Annual Average Casualty Crashes due to Driving too Fast for Conditions 2011-2015 police reported data).

This trend extends to those who drive for work. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace death, and more crashes causing worker injury or death occur between October and February. (WorkSafeBC, 2016).

Be part of the solution:

  • Slow down to a safe speed. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.
  • Install 4 matched winter tires that display the 3-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Winter tires, or all-weather tires, offer the best traction for faster stopping time and shorter stopping distance in cold weather, snow, rain and on ice. In all conditions winter tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
  • For employers and supervisors, the Winter Driving Safety online course and Tool Kit on the Shift Into Winter website provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter driving safety program.

Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk when winter road and weather conditions change. Whether you drive for work or leisure now is the time to prepare.

Between October 1 and March 31, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have 3-peak mountain snowflake tires and commercial vehicles to carry chains.

For more information about what you can do to be a safer driver this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.

Quotes:

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond

“Whether you drive to and from work, or spend much of your job on the road, every driver needs to be prepared for changeable and often challenging winter driving conditions. Being aware of the weather and planning for winter road conditions can mean the difference between a tragedy and getting home safely to your family at the end of the day.”

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone

“Winter poses unique travel and road maintenance challenges in B.C. One of our goals is to help keep drivers informed, prepared and travelling safely in winter conditions. We encourage drivers to be mindful of changing weather conditions, and regulate their speed accordingly, especially on high mountain passes and interior highways where conditions can change from rain to snow very quickly. ”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris

“Unpredictable winter driving conditions means everyone has to be extra careful when they’re on the roads. Snow squalls and icy conditions can challenge any driver. Do your part, don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted – it will cost you. In 2015 alone, driver inattention contributed to at least 88 deaths in B.C. Make the safe, smart decision so all British Columbians get to their destination safely.”

RCMP “E” Division Traffic Services Officer in Charge, Supt Derek Cooke

“Everyone on our roads and highways are trying to get to their destinations safely. British Columbia has unique terrain, and weather and road conditions that can change quickly. If we all plan ahead, give ourselves extra time to reach our destination, and have the proper equipment on our vehicles we can prevent unnecessary collisions, and ensure that everyone arrives alive.”

ICBC President and CEO, Mark Blucher

“During fall and winter, drivers need to adjust their driving for the road conditions they encounter, allow extra travel time and ensure their vehicle is properly equipped for every trip. For the safety of everyone on our roads, slow down, increase your following distance to at least four seconds and use extra caution – especially when approaching intersections. Anything drivers can do to avoid crashes will help reduce claims costs and the pressure on insurance rates.”

WorkSafeBC Vice President, Prevention Services, Al Johnson

“Every morning hundreds of BC workers get out of bed and get into vehicles to drive our roads…delivery vans, transports, buses and tow trucks. Driving is their job. We know that workers are more at risk of injury when they drive for work during the winter months because driving conditions are more extreme. Organizations can prepare now for that heightened risk by putting together a winter driving safety program and communicating it effectively to their staff with the online resources from Shift into Winter. Being prepared can save lives.”

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE 873, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Mainroad Group, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Finning, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Kal Tire, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Automotive Retailers Association, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., the City of Prince George, and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.

SOURCE Road Safety At Work

Hurricane Matthew: Does trip cancellation insurance cover natural disasters?

Excerpted article written b

Hurricane Matthew is threatening several of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations for island getaways, jeopardizing trip plans for Canadians hoping to take advantage of shoulder season.

The eye of the Category 4 hurricane is expected to pass east of Jamaica and then over or close to the southwestern tip of Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Matthew is predicted to hit the lightly populated eastern tip of Cuba on Tuesday afternoon. However, areas under a hurricane watch include the Turks and Caicos and central Bahamas.

Although tourism is significantly lower in the Caribbean at this time of year, Hurricane Matthew may have a direct impact on Canadians who have trips booked to affected areas in the coming days.

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve booked a trip to one of the affected regions:

If you purchased trip cancellation insurance and a travel advisory is issued by the Canadian government, your trip will be covered

According to Will McAleer, president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, any traveller who purchased trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance while booking their vacation will be able to claim the cost of their trip so long as the government of Canada has issued a non-essential travel warning to the reason.

“Assuming that advisory is up when you are supposed to go, that trip would be covered,” McAleer said.

The travel advisory must still be valid on the day you are scheduled to leave.
Non-essential travel advisories have been issued for Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, as well as central and southeastern Bahamas due to Hurricane Matthew.

However, if you are scheduled to leave for a trip in the coming days and you have yet to purchase insurance, it won’t do you any good to buy it now; according to McAleer, you would need to buy your trip cancellation insurance before any weather issues were reported for it to be covered.

Global News contacted several trip insurance providers for comment regarding hurricane coverage.

TD Insurance, PC Insurance and Manulife Insurance confirmed trip cancellation insurance will apply if a formal travel advisory has been issued by the government of Canada. Both providers urged customers travelling to the Caribbean to contact their provider immediately to verify their coverage.

Check with your tour operator

Having been through a hurricane while on vacation many years ago herself, travel expert Claire Newell suggests travelers check with their tour operator – such as Air Canada Vacations, or West Jet Vacations – as many of them offer hurricane coverage.

“None of this will come into play until something hits land. Basically, they are watching this minute by minute. When it actually hits land and the damage is seen – whether it hit near the resort, or if it affected the airport – they will make their decision,” Newell said, noting that whether you would get a refund or switch your travel dates is up to the individual provider.

“Whether it’s an ‘act of God’ is up to the tour operator to determine.”

Still planning on travelling? Take these steps to protect yourself

If you still plan on travelling to a region that could be affected by extreme weather, it’s recommended that you register your trip with the government of Canada.

The Registration of Canadians Abroad service allows the government to know who has travelled to areas affected by things like natural disasters, civil unrest, or terrorism. You will be asked to provide personal details – including your passport number – where you will be staying in the country you are visiting and an emergency contact person in Canada.
It’s also recommended that you carry the phone number and information for Canada’s Emergency Response Centre and carry contact information for Canadian government offices where you plan to visit.

Newell recommends that those travelling with a tour operator carry the contact information for their operator, should the situation where they are staying become serious.

It’s also important to note that some insurance companies may not honour medical claims for injuries suffered in a country for which the government has issues a travel advisory. Check with your provider to verify any terms and limitations in your policy before you travel.

Here are 8 fast facts about Friday’s mysterious #BlackMoon

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 8:10 PM – If you were a fan of the giant and gorgeous Harvest Moon, you won’t want to miss your chance to experience Friday night’s mysterious Black Moon.

blackmoon

It will occur at 8:11 p.m. ET and rise above the Western Hemisphere, but here’s the catch. It will be more or less invisible as the side of the moon lit by the sun is facing away from the Earth. However, sky watchers will be treated to plenty of stars, weather permitting. This is because moonless skies appear darker, so the stars are easier to view.

Here are 8 fast facts about this week’s Black Moon:

  1. There hasn’t been a Black Moon since March 2014 and there will not be another until July 2019.
  2. A Black Moon is the second new moon in a calendar month. Whereas, the Blue Moon refers to a second full moon in a single month.
  3. When the moon is full, its Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by sunlight, while a new moon occurs when the side facing the Earth is in shadow.
  4. On average, a new moon occurs every 29.5 days.
  5. Those in the Eastern Hemisphere will have to wait until either Oct. 30 or Halloween night to see a Black Moon.
  6. During full or new moons, which occur when the Earth, sun, and moon are nearly in alignment, average tidal ranges are slightly larger. This occurs twice each month, according to NOAA.
  7. According to some Christian beliefs, a Black Moon heralds the “End of Days.”
  8. Spells and rituals are said to be more effective under a Black Moon, according to some members of the Wiccan religion.

Source: The Weather Network

Here’s how you can catch the northern lights this week

By Nicole Mortillaro | Global News

If the sky is clear where you live, head outside tonight for a possible light show.

For the past few nights, the northern lights, or aurora borealis, have been visible across Canada. If you’ve missed them, you’ll get a chance again on Thursday and Friday.

There haven’t been any solar flares or coronal mass ejections from the sun to cause this. Instead, it’s due to a massive coronal hole where fast-moving particles are blown out into space and travel along the solar wind.

When these particles reach Earth, they interact with our magnetic field setting the sky alight with beautiful curtains of green, red and purple.

Earlier this week, people from across the country captured beautiful displays.

Both the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center and Natural Resources Canada are predicting storm activity on Sept. 29 and 30, with activity dropping afterwards.

If you want to try to catch them for yourselves, head outside once the sky gets dark and look north. It may take time for your eyes to adjust to the dark, but after they do, you should be able to see even faint aurora if it’s present.

Another option is to set up a camera on a tripod and set it to a high ISO and take a long-exposure photograph, maybe around 15 seconds. The camera is far more sensitive than the human eye in this set-up.

Don’t miss out on Friday’s Harvest Moon. Here are some fun facts.

Don’t miss out on Friday’s Harvest Moon. Here are some fun facts.

Leeanna McLean | The Weather Network

Every year as summer comes to a close in the Northern Hemisphere, the September full moon rises and because it occurs closer to the autumnal equinox than the October full moon, it’s called the Harvest Moon.

Here are 7 fun facts about this week’s Harvest Moon.

  1. Full moons have names corresponding to calendar months or seasons of the year, which dates back to early Native American tradition. Distinctive names were given to each recurring full moon so tribes were able to keep track of the seasons. As a result, the September full moon is also called the “Full Corn Moon,” because it marks when corn was supposed to be harvested.
  2. Depending on the year, the Harvest Moon can come anywhere from two weeks before or two weeks after the autumn equinox.
  3. On average, the moon rises 50 minutes later each day. However, for several days before and after the full Harvest Moon, it rises 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
  4. Friday’s spectacle will also be a supermoon, that is, when the moon is full, it is within 90 per cent of its closest distance to Earth for the month. However, this isn’t the closest full moon of 2016. That doesn’t occur until Nov. 14.
  5. While people may say Friday’s Harvest Moon will look bigger than usual, that is certainly not the case. When the moon is seen low on the horizon, the human eye and brain combine to create an optical illusion known as the moon illusion, whereby the moon viewed close to the horizon seems larger than when seen overhead. Cover the moon with a dime at arm’s length and you will see there is no difference.
  6. This year’s Harvest Moon is special because it will also be a penumbral lunar eclipse as it passes through the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow. This means, we won’t see the glorious crimson of a total lunar eclipse. However, it will be visible to varying degrees anywhere in eastern Europe, eastern Africa, most of Asia and western Australia.
  7. The last time the Harvest Moon perfectly coincided with the autumnal equinox was in 2010 and this won’t happen again until 2029. The 2016 Strawberry Moon was the first to coincide with the June solstice in decades, and the first to be visible in all of Canada since 1948.

This must-see will fill the sky on Sept. 16.

Photo Credit – Courtesy: Thomas Goray — September 26, 2015 — Ladywood, Manitoba

 

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