With still a few more days left before the extremely cold weather subsides, the BC Coroners Service is suggesting residents have a cold-weather safety plan.
Think about how much you need to be outdoors and what precautions you are going to take there, and also how you are going to ensure your home remains warm and safe with running water and an adequate food supply.
* Dress in layers with a wind-resistant outer layer. Wear a hat plus mitts or insulated gloves. Keep your face warm with a scarf, balaclava or the like.
* Stay dry. Being wet greatly increases the risk of hypothermia. If you do get wet, find shelter and change into dry clothing as soon as possible.
* If possible, limit your time outdoors in times of extremely low temperatures or wind chill.
* Do not assume that just being indoors is enough to eliminate the risk of hypothermia. An unheated or poorly heated residence or building can still lead to hypothermia, especially for the elderly or infirm.
* If you are in a cool or cold building, wear extra clothes, such as longjohns made for winter weather. Wear socks and slippers, and an extra sweater. A cap or hat helps prevent loss of body heat.
* If it’s cold at night, wear longjohns under your pajamas, and put extra covers on the bed.
* If your home is heated by a wood stove, ensure you have plenty of wood available before a forecast snowstorm or prolonged cold spell.
* If you are using a space heater for extra warmth, place it on a hard, level surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away.
* Never use a stove or oven to heat your home, and never operate agenerator inside a home.
Further information about winter safety may be found at websites such as those of the Red Cross and Canada Safety Council.