The Canadian Red Cross is offering a few tips to residents on how to stay safe during the recent cold spell on the prairies.
The organization says it’s important to be aware of five items when the temperatures drop this low:
- Recognizing hypothermia;
- Understanding frostbite;
- Providing first aid for hypothermia and frostbite; and
- Understanding wind chill factors.
Georgiana Schuring, operations manager in emergency management for the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan, said a simple thing for people to be aware of is being knowledgeable of what’s happening outside.
“Look at the TV, listen to the radio, go on your weather app on your phone and see what the temperature and wind chill factors are at,” explained Schuring.
She said it’s crucial for the public to understand how frostbite can affect people in the winter months. Schuring mentioned when the wind chill is below -40°C or lower, it’s at a dangerous level of exposure for frostbite.
“That is about two minutes for exposed skin to get frostbite. That is dangerous,” she stated. “I think each person needs to evaluate if it’s essential for them to go outside.”
She added that people affected by frostbite cannot be abrasive with it and should rather be gentle with the impacted skin when treating it.
For those that have to go outside for errands or work purposes, Schuring said to make sure you’re dressed appropriately and to tell someone where you are going out so they are aware of your whereabouts.