Long Weekend 101: Grills, Fills and Thrills

Have you been COUNTING THE DAYS until May Long/Victoria Day/May Two-Four? I sure have! And I am ready for it. Whether this weekend hails the opening of the cottage, the launching of the boat, the first grill-up on the patio or the first camping trip of the season, there is a bit of preparation to be done to make sure you, your family and friends can enjoy the weekend.

Long Weekend 101: Grills, Fills and Thrills

If your long weekend involves a road trip, here are a few resources to help you reach your destination safe and sound.

If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to firing up that grill. First though, I want to make sure it’s clean and safe. Also, free from spiders that may have made a home over the winter (eek!). Then, I check my propane tanks. Yep. Tanks. I have a backup. Embarrassing story… a few years ago, my in-laws were over for a BBQ and I had, in the hustle of getting the food prepped, forgotten to check how full the tank was. So right in the middle of cooking, I ran out of propane. Never again.

Triple Your Petro-Points when you exchange or purchase a new propane tank with us

This summer, if you need a new tank, a backup tank (!) or just a tank refill for the start of the season, head over to your nearest Petro-Canada. Until August 7th, you can exchange or purchase a new propane cylinder at Petro-Canada and receive 3x the Petro-PointsWhen you’re transporting, using or storing your propane cylinder, make sure you’re following the appropriate safety guidelines.

How are you spending the first long weekend of the season? Let us know in the comments!

Anticipation and Practice: Emergency Preparedness Week

Today is May the 4th, also known colloquially on social media as “Star Wars Day” (May the Fourth… be with you. Get it?). While I am tempted to post a super-cute picture of my dog in an Ewok costume and call it a day, next week (May 7-13, 2023) also happens to be Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada. So I find myself thinking about the fate of the Death Star (first iteration). Still seems like a big oversight that Luke was able to take it down with one shot. Where was the emergency planning in that?

The Death Star’s Health and Safety team would have benefited from this year’s theme: Be Prepared. Know Your Risks. It’s intended to encourage Canadians to understand the risks in their area and learn what actions they can take to protect themselves and their families.

To give us a solid perspective on safety at Petro-Canada, we connected with Stasy Presutto, Manager of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) at Suncor, the proud owner of Petro-Canada. Stasy supports the Sales and Marketing operations at Petro-Canada as well as their integration into the broader Downstream business. He’s been in this role for a little over 7 years.

Anticipation and Practice: Emergency Preparedness Week

PT: Stasy, thank you for talking to me today. Emergency Preparedness Week starts next week and the theme this year is “Be Prepared. Know Your Risks.” How does this theme fit into what you do for Petro-Canada?

SP: My job is both proactive and reactive. Obviously, if a health and safety incident occurs, we’re there to provide support in a reactive way. But we try to focus on being proactive – dealing with incidents that could occur but haven’t yet, so that we’re all better prepared. We work on identifying risks, and then developing the plans we need to put in place. It’s a great fit – the more we can identify potential risks and plan for handling them, ultimately the better prepared we’ll be.

PT: How do you build emergency preparedness on your team and with sites in the field?

SP: What I do falls into two key areas: “Practice makes perfect” and “Anticipation”.

First, “Practice makes perfect”. We know from research that in the event of an emergency, stress causes people to react ineffectively. We want to regularly practice what we do in different emergency situations so that it’s second nature. By having regular drills – at all levels: retail sites, wholesale sites and head office – we know how to protect people (guests, employees and contractors), the environment and our assets. The more prepared you are, the better you will respond in a crisis.

These drills are around what could happen on a site and how would we respond. And I try to encourage a continual learning environment. Health & Safety isn’t a “one and done” thing, it’s an important value we need to live every day. After drills, I make sure to connect with each member of the team to ask, “What did you learn and how would you improve?” We’re always learning and, no matter how many drills we conduct, we always come up with ways to improve.

PT: Then what about “Anticipation?”

SP: This is about encouraging a mindset of proactive thinking, about being aware of hazards that exist or situations that may come up and how to deal with them. For example, we ask our site operators, “What would you do if you had a spill of gasoline at this site? How would you respond?”

And this mindset extends to head office as well. It’s why we have a Safety Moment at the start of each meeting. You don’t want to turn a safety mindset on and off – it needs to be present in everything we do.

PT: How would this safety mindset extend to your personal life? How can readers be more prepared?

SP: Here’s an example… I recently drove to Panorama for a skiing trip. Panorama’s pretty remote and there’s an area on Highway 93 where there’s no cell service for about 100 km. So I asked my passengers, what would you do if the car breaks down at the 50km mark of this stretch of highway? The responses include blank stares and “I have no idea.” So, I start running through different scenarios and make sure I have what I need. Ask yourself “How prepared would I be if…” That’s what I do. What happens if my car breaks down? What happens if one of my kids goes into medical distress?” “What if there is a storm?” I can’t call for help as there is no cell service.

Then, based on all these scenarios, I develop plans. I made sure my car is well serviced with a full tank of gas. I checked the weather forecast. I planned to drive in daylight hours. I looked through my car’s emergency kit, saw that I didn’t have any water and added a few bottles. It’s all about considering your environment and being proactive.

PT: Any final thoughts?

SP: We can lose our common sense in an emergency. Thinking through and practicing your response in emergency situations makes it second nature. We can’t control the environment, but we can control our response. It’s all about being proactive and aware of the risks in a given situation. Seconds and moments do matter. Our lives may depend on it.


Thanks, Stasy! Emergency Preparedness Week is a great opportunity to talk to your family about your emergency plan. Check out the government of Canada’s Get Prepared site for a list of resources on how to prepare for emergencies. There is also a list of province-specific emergency management organizations (EMOs); these EMOs can provide more specific information about natural hazards and other region-specific risks, such as tsunami preparedness in British Columbia or managing your farm animals and livestock in an emergency in Alberta.

Where are you in your emergency preparedness journey? Have you worked through any potential scenarios with your family or co-workers? We’d love to hear how your emergency practice makes perfect! Leave us a note in the comments. And stay safe out there.

EV 101: Let’s Talk Range Anxiety

Canada is a big country. Like, really big. We have over 1 million kilometres of public roads in Canada (1,042,718 km to be exact). So, it’s understandable that when EV drivers were asked what their biggest pre-purchase concerns were, “Not Enough Range” ranked the highest with 67% of EV drivers rating the concern as “serious” or “moderately” serious. Interestingly, that percentage drops substantially – to only 30% of EV drivers – once they purchased their EV and had hands-on experience.

EV 101: Let's Talk Range Anxiety

How can you alleviate “range anxiety” when driving an EV? We’ve compiled a few tips to help ease that anxiety and enjoy taking your EV on a road trip.

Know Your Vehicle

Depending on the make and model of your EV, including both battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), it will have a manufacturer rated range – telling you how far the manufacturer expects it to go on a single charge. BC Hydro has an infographic that includes both the battery and fuel range (in the case of PHEVs) of all the EV models available in BC. And in their recent “EV Road Trip Report”, they illustrate what that looks like on a map.

Plan Your Route

There are a lot of great apps that let you find the closest EV charger, including PlugShare and ChargeHub – apps that show not only the location of chargers, but also the cost of charging, capability of charging speed, current availability of the charger and reviews or notes from fellow EV drivers. And, of course, there is our own Petro-Canada EV App that shows the locations of Canada’s Electric Highway™. We’ve created a cross-Canada network of EV fast charge stations, with a charger located every 250 km or less from Halifax, NS to Victoria, BC along the Trans-Canada Highway.

If you want to get a broader look at the available public chargers in Canada, National Resources Canada maintains an Electric Charging and Alternative Fuelling Stations Locator. Electric Mobility Canada, a national membership-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of e-mobility, maintains a list of EV charging apps and maps.

Weather and Temperature Affect Your Range

Depending upon the season, different factors can affect your EV’s range.

In warmer months, park in the shade if possible. Doing what you can to keep your car cool even before you get on the road is a good thing. And go easy on the AC. Running the AC drains your battery, so try not to run it on Full Arctic Blast and use it only when you need it.

And in cooler months, blasting your heater and running your seat warmers can drain your battery. So maybe slip on a pair of long johns under your jeans when out and about.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

There are some small but important changes to your regular driving habits that you can make that will extend the range of your battery. If you’ve been driving your combustion engine car in a fuel-efficient manner, you’ll likely recognize a number of these tips:

  • Lighten up your cargo. Carrying a bunch of extra stuff in your EV can drain the battery faster.
  • Drive at a consistent speed. Driving at high speeds with lots of acceleration and deceleration can really drain your battery. Try to keep your speed consistent.
  • Speaking of deceleration, take advantage of regenerative braking. Regenerative braking captures energy that is lost during braking and then uses that power to help recharge the battery. Most EV models let you manage regenerative braking on your dashboard screen.

For more tips for alleviating range anxiety when taking your EV on a road trip, check out this interview with Petro-Canada guest, Marianne Kunic, who drove her Kia Soul from Sechelt, BC to St. Stephen, NB.

What do you think? Are you ready to take your EV on a road trip? Let us know in the comments if we’ve helped alleviate your range anxiety!