Cold Weather Hitting Far North and Toronto

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Cold Weather
Cold Weather Alert

Cold Weather
Cold Weather Alert

THUNDER BAY – WEATHER – There are weather warnings for Extreme Cold conditions for Peawanuk and Fort Severn – Washaho Cree Nation. The far north of Ontario as well as Manitoba are under the spell of an Arctic system bringing cold weather to the regions.

As well Environment Canada has issues snow squall warnings for the eastern side of Lake Superior. Travel could be impacted, and drivers should check Ontario 511 for the latest road conditions.

Extreme Cold Warning in effect for:

  • Fort Severn
  • Peawanuk

A period of very cold wind chills is expected. Light winds combined with frigid temperatures will continue to produce extreme wind chill values near minus 45 this morning, tonight and Friday morning.

Wear appropriate clothing.
– Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk.
– Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold.
– Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it.
– If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet.

Protect yourself.
– On sunny days wear sun glasses, lip balm and sunscreen to protect your skin from UV and keep it moisturized to help prevent windburn.
– Wear a face mask and goggles if you are participating in winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and skating to protect your face from frostbite and windburn.
– Keep moving (especially your hands and feet) to keep your blood flowing and maintain your body heat.
– Drink enough fluids, but avoid very cold drinks and consume warm meals regularly.

Toronto issues Cold Weather Alert

The City of Toronto has also issued Cold Weather alerts. In Toronto, those alerts, issued by the City of Toronto bring into effect specific protocols for opening warming centres, and requirements for property owners and managers to follow.

Extreme Cold Weather Alert – seek shelter, check on loved ones

Based on information from Environment Canada, Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for Toronto that will be in effect until further notice.

Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below 35°C and can have severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostnip and frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes.

During extreme cold weather, residents are encouraged to call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather. Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, those taking certain medications, infants and young children, and those who are homeless. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.

This alert triggers cold weather services for homeless people, including TTC tokens for people to get to shelter, increased street outreach, and a direction to shelters to relax any service restrictions in place. During January and February, two 24-hour extreme cold weather drop-ins are always available. More information about cold weather services is available at http://bit.ly/1yFFOH5.

During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover exposed skin.
• Wear a hat, warm mittens or gloves, and warm boots.
• Stay dry. Your risk of hypothermia is much greater if you are wet.
• Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for clothes instead of cotton, because cotton stops keeping you warm once it gets wet.
• People who normally spend long periods outside should seek shelter. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
• Avoid alcohol as it increases blood flow. You may feel warm even though you are losing body heat.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, especially if it’s windy.
• Keep home heating at 21ºC or warmer if babies or elderly people are present.

Toronto residents who see someone on the street who needs outreach assistance – which may include a shelter bed due to the cold temperatures – should call 311. For medical emergencies, call 911.

More information and tips for staying warm during extremely cold weather are available at http://www.toronto.ca/health.