Warming Centres Open In Bracebridge During Cold Weather

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The Town of Bracebridge reminds local residents and visitors to the community that the Town has designated the following “warming centres” for your relief and safety as an “Extreme Cold Warning” has been issued for the Muskoka Area by the Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit:
Municipal Office
1000 Taylor Court
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Bracebridge Sportsplex
110 Clearbrook Trail
Monday to Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Bracebridge Public Library
94 Manitoba Street
Monday and Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Salvation Army will also make their resources available to those requiring assistance during extreme cold events.
Environment Canada reports a multi-day episode of very cold wind chills. Temperatures will fall rapidly this evening to reach lows of minus 20 to 25 degrees Celsius with wind chill values in the minus 35 to 40 range tonight. Temperatures and wind chill values will be slightly lower Friday night with extreme cold temperatures continuing until Saturday or possibly into Sunday morning.
Anyone can be affected by extreme cold-related weather conditions, depending on length of time of exposure to cold and exertion levels. Those especially at risk include: older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, outdoor workers, sport enthusiasts (hikers, skiers), homeless persons, and/or those lacking shelter, proper clothing or food. During extreme cold weather, residents are encouraged to call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk and keep pets inside.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit provides the following cold weather safety tips while outdoors:
• Cover exposed skin (exposed skin can become frostbitten in 30 seconds).
• Wear a hat (up to 40 per cent of body heat loss can occur through the head).
• Wear gloves or mittens, and a scarf to protect the chin, lips, nose and cheeks.
• On sunny days wear sunglasses, lip balm and sunscreen to protect your skin from UV and keep it moisturized to help prevent windburn.
• Wear a face mask and goggles if you are participating in winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and skating to protect your face from frostbite and windburn.
• Drink warm fluids but not caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
• Wear clothes in layers to include an inner layer, a middle layer and an outer layer that is wind resistant.
• Take shelter from the wind – this can reduce wind chill exposure.
• Always be alert for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. If you experience these symptoms when exposed to the cold, move indoors to begin warming and/or seek medical attention:
o Respiratory: shortness of breath, wheezing and cough;
o Cardiovascular: chest pain and arrhythmia;
o Circulation: colour change of finger and toes, pain, numbness and tickling sensation in extremities;
o Muscle: pain, stiffness, swelling, restricted movement, weakness; and
o Skin: itching, pale.
The Town of Bracebridge advises that to keep yourself, your family and your home safe, you should know how to prevent cold-related health injuries and be prepared if there is a cold weather emergency.

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