Lifestyle

Municipal and federal government sites provide guidelines for extreme cold

(Photo by Quin Hauck/The Weal)

The winter season sees extreme cold hitting Calgary, but there are lots of resources to help Calgarians deal with the weather.

“Winter storms have the potential to disrupt power to your home and community, and have the potential to affect your plans,” according to the City of Calgary website.

“It’s important to be prepared, as these kinds of storms can hit quickly and without warning.”

Some of the tips for weathering a winter storm include: keeping an eye on the weather forecast, having an emergency kit in your vehicle, making sure your gas tank is at least half-full and having a 72-hour kit at home in case a storm makes it impossible to leave.

Canada.ca also has a lot of information in regards to extreme cold conditions.

According to Canada.ca, “Whenever temperatures drop dramatically below normal, staying warm and safe can become challenging.”

“In general, your risk of health effects like windburn and frostbite increase at wind chill values below -27°C.”

To reduce the health risks of the cold, Canada.ca suggests dressing in layers with a wind-resistant outer layer, so you can add or remove them depending on how warm you feel.

Warm socks, gloves or mittens, a hat and a scarf are also suggested in cold weather. Wearing a facemask and goggles will help protect you from frostbite and windburn when taking part in winter sports like skiing, skating, or snowmobiling.

“If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet,” Canada.ca states.

If you have to leave the house during extreme cold conditions, pay attention to weather alerts and keep an eye on wind chill alerts issued by Environment Canada.

Of course, avoiding travel outside during periods of extreme cold is the best way to stay safe and warm, but Canada.ca has some advice if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

“If you are caught in a severe snowstorm, or outside in extreme cold conditions, look for shelter.
“If there are no buildings around, a small cave, ditch, hollow tree or a vehicle can help reduce your chances of frostbite or hypothermia.”

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