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Extreme cold expected for the night of Jan. 16 in parts of Simcoe

Jan 16, 2024
SIMCOE MUSKOKA — An extreme cold warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for Innisfil, New Tecumseth, and Angus for the night of Tuesday, Jan. 16 and into Wednesday morning with wind chill values near -30°C.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA — An extreme cold warning has been issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada for Innisfil, New Tecumseth, and Angus for the night of Tuesday, Jan. 16 and into Wednesday morning with wind chill values near -30°C.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) reminds the public that very cold temperatures can put everyone at risk for cold-related injuries, such as frostnip, frostbite and hypothermia. Cold temperatures can also worsen existing health conditions like heart or lung illnesses. Health risks are greatest for those who experience homelessness or marginal housing, older adults, infants and children, people with pre-existing health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, and outdoor workers and sports enthusiasts.

Fortunately, cold-related injuries are preventable. These simple steps can help you keep yourself, your family, and others in your care safe from extreme cold:   

  • Check the weather and plan ahead: Know the weather before you go out and modify plans according to the conditions.
    • The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends keeping children indoors when temperatures or wind chill are reported to be -27°C (with or without wind chill) or colder.
  • Be aware: Know the signs and symptoms of frostnip, frostbite and hypothermia. Monitor for signs and symptoms of cold injuries and know what to do if they occur. Be aware if you or those in your care are more susceptible to the cold.
  • Dress for the weather: Dress in layers (an inner layer, middle layer and wind-resistant outer layer); wear a hat, gloves or mittens, a scarf, warm socks and waterproof boots. 
  • Stay warm and dry: Seek shelter from the wind and cold and take regular breaks from the cold. If you get wet or sweaty, change into dry, warm clothes. Drink warm liquids (avoid alcohol and caffeine) to warm up.
  • Check in on others: Check in on friends, family and neighbours to ensure they are warm and safe (indoors and outdoors) and have the supplies required to stay safe and warm.
  • Travel safely: Avoid travelling on ice-covered roads or when visibility is poor. Have a winter emergency care kit with cable jumpers, extra blankets, and warm clothes in your vehicle. Never pour water on your windshield to remove ice or snow as this can cause windows to shatter.
  • Maintain indoor temperatures: Keep indoor temperatures comfortable, between 18°C and 21°C. Even moderate indoor and outdoor cold temperatures can have an impact on your health. Energy financial supports are available (e.g., Low-Income Energy Network).   

For relief from cold temperatures, visit warming spaces across Simcoe Muskoka. Warming spaces are buildings open to the public that welcome people inside during regular business hours to warm up from the cold. They are often located in municipal buildings, libraries, and community centres. Contact your local municipality to find an open warming space near you.

For more information about cold and its impact on your health, visit smdhu.org/cold or contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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