Sunday, December 18, 2016

Toronto Cold Weather Alert Dec 2016

Two in two days, those Cold Weather Alerts are blowing in faster than a polar vortex greasing the way for Santa's sleigh ride. Issued by the Medical Officer of Health the alert is for temperatures at 15 degrees Celsius or colder, or with wind chills at 20 degrees or colder and the city asks that you seek shelter and check on loved ones. Keep an eye out for hypothermia and frostbite, you can call 311 for street outreach assistance or 911 for emergency response. Stay warm Toronto!

"Those most at risk of cold-related illness are people experiencing homelessness or those underhoused, those who work outdoors, people with a pre-existing heart condition or respiratory illness, the elderly, and infants and young children. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their condition for several days after cold weather occurs. Extreme Cold Weather Alerts activate local services that focus on getting and keeping vulnerable residents inside. These services include additional shelter beds, notification to community agencies to relax any service restrictions, availability of transit tokens in some drop-ins, and overnight street outreach. Between December 15, 2016, and February 28, 2017, two cold weather drop-ins will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

See more of Joe's atmosphere pictures after the jump.
More information from the City: "During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Check the weather report before going outside.
• 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 your clothes instead of cotton, because cotton stops keeping you warm once it gets wet.
• Seek shelter if you normally spend long periods outside. Depending on the wind chill, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
• Drink warm fluids, other than alcohol.
• Warm up by taking regular breaks in heated buildings when enjoying winter activities outside.
• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors, during colder temperatures, especially if it's windy.
• Heat your home to at least 21ÂșC if infants or elderly people are present.
• Call or visit vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to the weather."

All photos by Joe Hamilton.

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