We're expecting a deep freeze across the GTA this Family Day weekend and residents are reminded to take precautions. With wind chills dropping below -30 degrees Celsius, Environment Canada says anyone not wearing proper clothing is at an increased risk for frost bite and hypothermia. The risk is greater among the homeless, outdoor workers and those without proper heating in their home.
Drivers should also have an emergency Winter Safety Kit in their vehicles and be sure to check car batteries which can be affected by the cold weather.
Here are a few more tips to help you deal with the bitter cold:
Ice: With the temperatures well below zero, ice is a major factor on roadways, sidewalks and parking lots. Take your time and be cautious when travelling from place to place. Help out by ensuring your sidewalk is ice-free so no one falls when passing by your home.
Wind Chill: Wind chill is a perceived decrease of temperature on exposed skin, due to cold air. If you go out in the next few days, layer up and expose as little skin as possible. Use hats, gloves and scarves to make sure you are as warm as possible and bundle up your little ones if they are going to be outside.
Frostbite: The exposure of skin to frigid temperatures and causes damage to the skin and tissue. It can only take a matter minutes for frostbite to occur in the freezing temperatures. Limit your time outside and if you have to go out, cover up.
Hypothermia: Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures causes hypothermia. This can happen when someone falls into a body of water or slips outside and cannot get up, leaving them exposed to the elements. It is important to seek medical treatment immediately to ensure their internal body temperature is raised in a safe and controlled manner.
The following are local emergency shelters in the area. If you need help accessing services please contact The Regional Municipality of Durham, Housing Services at 905-668-4113 or 1-800-372-1102 ext. 2457.
Cornerstone Community Association (Men with or without children; couples with children in their care)
Muslim Welfare Home (Women with or without children)
Joannes House (Single youth 16 to 24 years old)
Thermometer (JPG file, 117.8K bytes)