Do You Have a Winter Emergency Kit?

With many places in Canada experiencing snow, freezing rain, wind, and fog this past weekend, this seems the right time to review how best to be prepared for winter in Canada at its absolute worst. A winter emergency kit will enable you to stay warm inside until it’s safe to venture out again.

Granted, it’s rare that we have days and days without power, snowed in with no way to make contact with the outside world. But we do often have the threat of bad weather, and with it comes the anxiety about what we would do if we woke up tomorrow morning with little food, no heat, and too much snow to dig through.

Being prepared for the worst will have you sleeping better at night so you’ll be well-rested when you wake up and realize the forecast was wrong, the roads are clear, and you DO have to go to work.

But for that one time you really are snowed in, source the following items and keep them together in a labelled, waterproof container. Check it once a year to replace any out of date items:

Water: Keep enough bottled water for each member of your household to consume 6 – 8oz/day for up to three days, or more if you’re in a remote area. Don’t forget to include extra water for pets and consider keeping a rain barrel of grey water in your garage in case you need water to flush the toilet (and keep a bucket near it to carry the water in).

Non-perishable Food: Have enough food for at least three days worth for each member of your family. Along with canned and dried items, keep some calorically-dense foods like power bars, granola bars, and canned nutritional shakes. And make sure you have a manual can-opener!

Eat what you can out of your fridge or freezer first, but remember that after 4 hours without power, food in your refrigerator or freezer is no longer considered safe to eat. Keep the fridge doors closed as much as possible and throw out anything considered unsafe once the power is back on. Of course, if the temperature outdoors is well below freezing, you can store items from your freezer outside and bring them in once electricity has been restored and your fridge and freezer are back to optimal temperatures. 

Firewood & Candles: If you’re fortunate enough to have a wood-burning fire, make sure you have dry firewood, kindling, and matches. Candles are also a good source of heat and light. Remember to never leave any fire burning unattended.

Portable Cooker/BBQ/Canned fuel: Obviously the goal in bad weather is to stay inside. If you dress up warmly, you can use your BBQ or camping stove outside to heat up food. The other option is to purchase canned fuel (available at hardware stores) which can be used inside, is hot enough to heat canned food and will burn for several hours.

Pocket Warmers: Did your mom ever put these in the pockets of your snowsuit? Mom probably knew that in cold weather, your body diverts blood away from your extremities and towards your core to keep your internal organs safe. Hand and toe warmers can be purchased in bulk; they start producing heat within seconds of being “popped” and they’ll keep your hands and feet warm for hours.

Blankets & Pillows: Once you don’t have to worry about food, water, and heat, you can have a bit of fun. Gather all your blankets and pillows in the warmest part of the house and build a fort just like you used to when you were a kid. Once everyone piles in, body heat will help keep you all warm. 

Entertainment: Have some movies & music downloaded onto your laptop or tablet. Your devices won’t stay charged forever though, so bring some board games, playing cards, and good books into your fort to keep spirits up and boredom at bay. 

Portable Charger/Power Bank: To keep your phone and laptop charged for at least a few extra hours, keep some portable chargers or power banks on hand. These obviously need to be fully charged to work so as soon as you hear that bad weather is on the way, pull them out of storage and charge them up.

Transistor Radio: Use a battery-powered radio to get updates about weather conditions and power outages. They’re also great for listening to some music or talk-radio for entertainment. 

Flashlights: It’s amazing how our smartphones have replaced so many everyday objects in our lives, flashlights included. You may not even know where your flashlights are anymore since you can just swipe up on your phone and press that little flashlight button. When the power goes out, use your phone’s flashlight to locate your battery-powered flashlight. Or just keep one in your emergency kit ready to go.

First Aid Kit: Keep a well-stocked kit of bandages, alcohol swabs, gauze, antibacterial gels, hand sanitizer, and scissors.

Batteries: Have a variety of batteries to power your radio, flashlight, and any other portable, battery-powered devices you might need.

Personal Items: Make a list of the items you go through on a regular basis. Does anyone in your home rely on medications that they can’t run out of? Do you have a baby who needs diapers, formula, or baby food? Do you have pets? Consider the individual needs of each member of your household and store appropriate supplies, toiletries, and food items for each one. 

Don’t forget about the neighbours: Is there an elderly neighbour or single parent who may appreciate some company and checking up on?

And don’t forget about an emergency kit for travel: It’s more likely that you’ll find yourself stranded in your car than your home this winter. An emergency kit with blankets, a shovel, first-aid kit, coat, hat, mittens, hand and toe warmers, bottled water, and snacks, is an absolute must anytime you travel during the winter in Canada.

Anything we’ve forgotten? What do you have in your emergency kit that may help others? Feel free to leave a comment so we can all be better prepared and sleep easier the next time the forecast calls for a Canadian snowpocalypse.

 

Backpacks for Kids gets a Boost from La Bandera

DSC_7382La Bandera literally means the flag in Spanish, but it has a whole other delicious meaning in the Dominican Republic. Lunch is the most important and the largest meal of the day in the DR, and that’s where La Bandera also known by its street name, El plato del dia (dish of the day) comes in. It is a plate of rice, beans, meat, and a salad, that is eaten every day.

The Fibernetics Call Centre, or the FCC as we call it, is based in the DR and our team of Super Customer Service agents on that Island work hard every day to keep our customers, and customers to be, happy. They also run and support our in-house charity, “Backpacks for Kids” where we provide school supplies for disadvantaged Dominican children allowing them to get the education they so desperately want.

Since its inception just a few years ago, BPFK has managed to send  hundreds of children to school who otherwise wouldn’t have gone. Every year, to support the charity we hold a series of fundraisers out of the FIbernetics headquarters in Cambridge to raise funds. This week we had a company-wide lunch, and for $5.00 we served our Canadianized version of La Bandera with all the money raised going to BPFK.

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We are soon going to make this charity open to public donations, as we’ve seen the impact it is having on our neighbours to the south, and also to our friends and co-workers at the FCC.

Congratulations to everyone who pitched in and helped make it the most successful fundraising lunch in our history. Volunteers: Fiona, Smikie, Samhi, Gavin, Dawn, Greta and Amber!

 

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Canada’s New “Notice and Notice” Regulation & Worldline

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 11.28.06 AMYou may have heard that the Government of Canada enacted a new regulation for Internet Service Providers at the beginning of the year called “Notice-and-Notice.” Directly targeted at those who download copyrighted content illegally using Bittorrent and other technologies, an ISP will receive a “notice” from a rights holder that they’ve detected an illegal download of their property by one of that ISP’s customers.

In turn, that ISP is then directed to send a “notice” to their customer, and include the original “notice” as well, thus the odd “Notice-and-Notice” construction.  We receive a number of these every day, and now, as per the regulation, we are now sending customers, who have been named by the rights holders, emails.

Here’s a sample of what they look like:

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From: On Behalf Of Fibernetics
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2015 9:53 AM
To: Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Copyright Infringement Notice

Dear Customer,

Worldline has received what the Copyright Act calls a “Notice of Claimed Infringement”. It listed an IP address and a time. Our systems indicate that the IP address listed in the notice was likely assigned to your account at the specified time. We are therefore legally required to forward the notice to you.

There are some things you should know:

(a) We have not told the sender who you are. Your privacy is important to us. We do not track, or know what you do. What we do know is the IP address that we assigned to you within the last 30 days. But we don’t provide personal information to anyone unless a court orders us to. The notice was simply received by us, and we have forwarded it electronically on to you.

(b) We are an intermediary that is required to forward this notice to you. We do not, and cannot, verify its contents or its sender. However, a private party’s notice does not mean there has been any legal ruling. Only a court can do that.

(c) It is good practice to make sure you secure your account. Your wireless router should be password-protected; and those who have the password should maintain good virus protection.

(d) We retain IP address information for 30 days. If your modem has not been powered off during that period, then we may have IP address information going back to the last time you did. In addition to requiring us to forward this notice, the Copyright Act also requires us to retain the records matching the IP address and time to your account for six months. If the people who sent the notice apply to a court, they can require us to hold it for longer.

We have included some reference links about copyright law in Canada, including our legal obligations:
http://www.balancedcopyright.gc.ca/eic/site/crp-prda.nsf/eng/h_rp01153.html#amend
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=858069
Thank You,
Worldline

Then below this we reproduce the original notice, unaltered.

Please note, the original notice is from a 3rd party, not from us. We’re just passing it along. The customers account information is not shared in any way, shape or form. Also, it’s very important to know that this is not a legal ruling. The copyright holder is not a court of law. That said, those who do download illegally should govern themselves accordingly.

Interestingly enough this new regulation is a form of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, noted recently that:

In recent years, the use of BitTorrent and similar technologies to engage in unauthorized copying has not disappeared, but network usage indicates its importance is rapidly diminishing. Waterloo-based Sandvine recently reported the BitTorrent now comprises only five per cent of Internet traffic during peak periods in North America (file sharing as a whole takes up seven per cent). That represents a massive decline since 2008, when file sharing constituted nearly one-third of all peak period network traffic.

The decline largely reflects a shift toward streaming video, which is now the dominant use of network traffic. Netflix alone comprises almost 35 per cent of download network traffic in North America during peak periods with the other top sources of online streaming video – YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime, and Hulu – pushing the total to nearly 60 per cent.

Also of note, video streaming services like Netflix, Shomi, CraveTV and YouTube are not subject to this new regulation as they have obtained permission to make the content available or make it easy for rights holders to remove it.

We hope this explains “Notice-and-Notice” for you. The bottom line is, if you’re not doing anything illegal, never mind. But if you are, prepare to get notified.

Press Release: Announcing Worldline’s “Superhero Summer Savings”

worldline-superhero-summer-savings

Announcing Worldline’s “Superhero Summer Savings”
Canada’s Best Value in Internet and Home Phone Just Got Better!

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO–(06/10/14)- Summer is a time for saving at Worldline as Canada’s best value in High Speed Unlimited Internet and Home Phone bundles has slashed their pricing even further. In an aggressive move meant to shake up the Canadian telecom industry, for a limited time only Worldline is waiving all activation fees, all dry loop fees and cutting modem rental fees in half on all Unlimited High Speed Internet and Bundle FTTN DSL products.

Worldline customer invoices will show their monthly fee, their modem rental charge, taxes, and that’s it. No dry loop activation or monthly fees. No service activation fees. No network fees. No surprises.

“We are the Superhero Internet and Phone service provider in this country and to prove it, we’re not only continuing to provide Unlimited High Speed DSL Internet and Digital Home Phone with Unlimited Long Distance and a full feature package included at no extra charge, we’re making it even more affordable,” said John Stix – Worldline CMO.

“In an era where the Big Three are jacking up their rates and slapping data caps on their broadband Internet and Digital Home Phone customers, Worldline is listening to our customers and doing the exact opposite. The truth is, most Canadians don’t know that they have an option when it comes to their telecom service and they just accept outrageous price gouging as a fact of life. With this Superhero Summer Savings promo Worldline is showing Canadians they don’t have to take it anymore,” Stix concluded.

Superhero Summer Savings Pricing:
DSLPricing

About Worldline:
Worldline, the residential division of Fibernetics, provides high quality telecom products and services in the most cost effective way possible. Worldline’s Unlimited High Speed DSL and Cable Internet, Home Phone, Long Distance packages and Bundle plans are specifically designed for hard working Canadians. As one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies in the country, Worldline is all about providing unlimited flat rate services with no mandatory contracts. Website: www.worldline.ca Twitter: @worldlinecanada

About Fibernetics:
Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, Fibernetics is dedicated to changing the way people communicate by offering telecommunications functionality and pricing that Canadians have never seen before. Fibernetics operates its own national infrastructure that delivers a full range of voice and data services for residential and business customers. The business division of Fibernetics is NEWT, the residential division of Fibernetics is Worldline. Website: www.fibernetics.ca Twitter: @fibernetics

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Media Inquires:
John Stix – CMO
Worldline
519-489-6700
jstix@corp.fibernetics.ca

 

It’s TriGator Week at Worldline

Tri2Meet the real Superhero Kids!

TriGATOR for Kids is a triathlon designed for kids aged 3 to 14 held in Elmira, Ontario, (a small town just north of our head office in Cambridge), on the upcoming Father’s Day weekend.

Hugely successful, hundreds of local kids have taken part over the years and helped raise nearly $200,000 for charity. In 2013 TriGATOR helped 1,400 kids be active through subsidies for YMCA memberships, along with providing funds for various swimming, soccer, and baseball programs, just to name a few.

Worldline has become a major sponsor of TriGATOR this year because it’s a local charity focused on health and well being and, frankly, does it scream “Superhero Kids” or what?

The TriGator is a kids’ triathlon race with age appropriate Swim-Bike-Run distances for children between the ages of 3-14. 2014 is the fifth year for this event and participation will be limited.  As with past years, we expect the TriGator to sell out quickly.

Tri1The proceeds from the TriGator are donated to Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart®. Jumpstart® is based on the idea that  all kids should have the chance to run, skate, play, and grow. It’s a community-based charitable program that helps kids aged 4-18 participate in organized sports and recreation such as hockey, dance, soccer and swimming, so they can develop important life skills, self esteem and confidence.  For more information check out Canadian Tire Jumpstart®.

We’re super excited to be one of the main sponsors this year, and our team is heading up to Elmira to volunteer and help the hundreds of local children do what they do – and that’s be Superhero kids.

For more on information please visit the TriGator Website.