A winter storm watch issued by Environment Canada is calling for up to 35cm of snow and winds gusting as high as 70km/h this weekend, creating blizzard-like conditions that will make highway travel a challenge in the South end of the province. Weyburn Police Chief Jamie Blunden shared his tips ahead of the storm's arrival to ensure residents are prepared for what's to come.

"First and foremost, the thing that I would say is don't be a driver this weekend, just stay home," said Blunden. "But in saying that, if you do need to go out, I'm going to recommend that you get in touch with some of your relatives or wherever you're going. Let them know where you're going to be and what your estimated time of arrival will be. Make sure you have yourself a safety kit, possibly a candle, some food in case something happens where you get stuck because you might not be able to get out right away. I also recommend looking at the road conditions themselves before you leave, but it's probably best to stay home if you don't have to go out."

Being prepared for the road is not all that locals should consider, though. The possibility of snowfall being wet and heavy could mean power outages, which are more dangerous for those in the isolated rural communities surrounding Weyburn. Chief Blunden recommended that people take the time to double check their preparedness at home as well. 

"Try to think of a few things ahead of time, plan for the things that you'll need if the power were to go out," Blunden said. "Check your generator if you plan to use that for powering electric heaters, make sure your flashlights have fresh batteries, and charge up your personal devices so you have a way to call for help if you need it. I'm also considering how to care for my animals, so I'll prep a generator to keep water flowing in the troughs for our horses, things like that. It's always best to think about these things before the power actually goes out."

Although the City's crews will clear snow from local roads as soon as possible, Chief Blunden reminds residents that some areas of Weyburn will be difficult to traverse until those crews can catch up. Officers may not be patrolling as actively throughout the storm for their own safety, but Chief Blunden assured that help is still just a phone call away.

"The safety of everybody is important to us. The safety of individuals out there are important, but the safety of WPS members is important as well. My recommendation to the officers is staying safe and waiting for those calls to come in. We do have 4-wheel drive, but we're just as liable in those conditions as everybody else. Unfortunately, we don't have a Cape that goes on that makes us extra superhuman. With that being said, we will do everything in our power to respond to calls for service," explained Blunden. "Our Public Works department does a great job of clearing the snow, but they're not going to get to all of the lanes right away. Stay out of the conditions, that's the best move, but if you have to go out then proceed with caution."