TORONTO, March 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical
Officer of Health, has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert today for
Toronto that will be in effect until further notice.
Exposure to cold weather can be harmful to your health. Hypothermia
occurs when the body's core temperature drops below 35°C and can have
severe consequences, including organ failure and death. Frostnip and
frostbite can also occur in cold weather when skin freezes.
During extreme cold weather, residents are encouraged to call or visit
vulnerable friends, neighbours and family to ensure they are not
experiencing any difficulties related to the weather. Those most at
risk of cold-related illness are people who work outdoors, people with
a pre-existing heart conditions or respiratory illness, those taking
certain medications, infants and young children, and those who are
homeless. People with heart problems can experience worsening of their
condition up to several days after cold weather occurs.
This alert triggers cold weather services for homeless people, including
three 24-hour drop-ins, additional shelter beds, TTC tokens for people
to get to shelter, increased street outreach, and a direction to
shelters to relax any service restrictions in place.
During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, members of the public are
encouraged to take the following precautions:
Dress in layers, making sure your outer layer is windproof, and cover
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.
Avoid alcohol as it increases blood flow. You may feel warm even though
you are losing body heat.
Consider rescheduling outdoor activities, or limiting time outdoors,
especially if it's windy.
Heat your home to at least 21ºC if babies or elderly people are present.
If you see someone on the street who needs outreach assistance - which
may include a shelter bed due to the cold temperatures - call 311. For
medical emergencies, call 911.
More information and tips for staying warm during extremely cold weather
are available at http://www.toronto.ca/health.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America,
and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a
global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is
consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is
proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan
American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and
programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.
SOURCE City of Toronto
For further information:
Lenore Bromley, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974, email@example.com
Pat Anderson, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org