February 26, 2014: The Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Franklin Warsh,
has issued the 6th COLD WEATHER ALERT for Elgin County. Based on the Environment
Canada forecast, the night time low tonight will be -11° Celsius but will quickly
fall to a wind chill of -25° Celsius over the course of the evening and into
Thursday. On Thursday the daytime ambient temperatures are predicted to be in the
range between -16° Celsius to -25° Celsius. These low temperatures will
continue until Saturday morning, when the mercury will rise to more seasonal temperatures.
This 6th Cold Weather Alert for 2014 will be in effect as of this evening , Wednesday
February 26, 2014 until the morning of Saturday March 1, 2014.
The residents of Elgin County should take precautions during this cold weather alert.
Overexposure to cold may result in hypothermia, which occurs when a person's body
temperature drops below normal. Normal body temperature ranges from 36.1 to 37.8°
Celsius (97 to 100° Fahrenheit).
Symptoms of hypothermia may include:
- pale skin
- confusion and hallucinations
- In the initial stages a person may shiver considerably, but as their body temperature
drops, shivering may also decrease
In a severe case of hypothermia a person may display the following symptoms:
- the person is unconscious
- breathing is shallow
- pulse is irregular and hard to detect
- If someone is found with these symptoms, immediate emergency medical treatment is
necessary to prevent coma or death.
If you suspect someone may be suffering from hypothermia:
- seek medical attention immediately
- if possible, move the person to a warm area and dress them in warm clothing
- offer warm water, juice or milk
- do not offer alcohol or hot drinks
To avoid hypothermia or frostbite people are advised to:
- dress warmly; layer clothing
- wear a hat - 30% of body heat escapes through the head
- avoid alcohol
- drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration (please note that drinks containing
caffeine can dehydrate)
- limit outdoor activity
Symptoms of frostbite include:
- skin turning red, blue or a gray/white
- pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in fingers, toes, ears and nose which are
If you suspect frostbite:
- warm the affected area next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, not hot
- do not rub the area; re-warming may take 30-60 minutes
- seek emergency medical treatment for a severe, blistering case of frostbite
What the Public Can Do During a Cold Weather Alert
Members of the public can help by checking on elderly and handicapped neighbours
to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to cold temperatures
and to call Emergency Services for help if needed.
Parents should ensure that children walking home from school are adequately protected
from the harsh weather conditions. Consider providing transportation for children
with long walks home from school.