Oxford Public Health & Emergency Services has issued a cold weather alert for Oxford County covering Monday night and Tuesday.
A return of what has been termed a ‘polar vortex’ is settling over the area again, and Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures between -30 to -35 with wind chill.
A cold weather alert is issued when current or anticipated weather conditions are at or below -15 degrees Celsius or -20 with wind chill, or when there are extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.
As part of the alert, Oxford County residents are reminded to take precautions to protect themselves from the cold. Those at risk include older adults, infants and young children, outdoor workers, those who like outdoor sports such as skiing and hiking, and homeless persons and others who do not have shelter, proper clothing or food.
Over-exposure to cold may lead to complications such as frostbite, particularly in the extremities (finger and toes) or any exposed skin, and hypothermia, which occurs when body temperature drops below 35˚C, affecting the ability to think clearly and move well. If you suspect hypothermia, call 911.
The warning signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. Infants may have red, cold skin and very low energy. Hypothermia is a medical emergency—get medical attention immediately. Health Canada: It's your Health - Extreme cold weather
Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Signs of frostbite include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you think you have frostbite, seek medical care. Health Canada: It's your Health - Extreme cold weather.