The Medical Officer of Health for the Brant County Health Unit has issued a cold alert, effective February 4, 2022.
A cold alert is issued when temperatures are expected to drop below -15°C, without wind chill.
Everyone is at risk during very cold weather. In temperatures of -15°C or colder, unprotected skin can freeze in less than 30 minutes and the risk of developing hypothermia is high.
Some groups are particularly vulnerable to the frigid temperatures, including, older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties or heart conditions, people taking certain prescription medication, those experiencing homelessness, people working or exercising outdoors, and people living in homes that are poorly insulated or lack sufficient heating.
To prevent cold injuries, such as hypothermia and frostbite, the Brant County Health Unit recommends the following:
- Wear several layers of clothing and make sure the outer layer protects you from both wind and wetness.
- Cover exposed skin (using hats, mittens, or face masks) to protect against frostbite.
- Drink warm, caffeine and alcohol-free, fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Check on elderly and vulnerable people frequently, to ensure they are safe and warm.
- Visit bchu.org to learn the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
The alert remains in effect until cancelled by the Medical Officer of Health. Visit www.Brantford.ca/ExtremeCold to learn more and for tips for preventing cold-related illnesses.
If you, or someone you know, is in immediate need of emergency shelter, please call the Salvation Army Housing Resource Centre at 519-802-4332. After hours, please call 519-753-4193. Everyone is encouraged to seek shelter. Learn more at www.brantford.ca/EmergencyShelters.