The City of Red Deer encourages residents to stay safe during the extreme cold while outside, at home or on the road.
Central Albertans have faced extreme cold for a few days, and winter is not over despite a forecast that jumps to above-zero temperatures by early next week.
Karen Mann, the city’s emergency management co-ordinator, said the city has emergency plans, but it’s really important for residents to also be prepared for adversity, such as extreme cold.
“Having emergency kits and emergency plans at home help us in those larger-scale emergencies to focus our resources on people who need the assistance most urgently,” Mann said.
She said residents should have emergency kits for their homes with all the necessary items to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. They should contain supplies like two litres of water per person per day, non-perishable food, prescription medication, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, and more.
Vehicle kits should have bottled water, warm clothes and boots for every traveller, blankets, a small shovel, and more.
For details on supplies for home and vehicle kits, visit reddeer.ca/getprepared.
Tips to stay safe in extreme cold include bundling up and limiting time outside to prevent frostbite, and taking frequent breaks inside to warm up when working outside.
Mann cautioned residents to use space heaters safely by keeping them away from furniture and cloth like drapes and bedding, as well as maintaining fire and carbon monoxide detectors. They should check air intake systems for snow and ice build up. If smoking inside instead of outside due to the cold, make sure smoking materials are extinguished.
She said pets should have limited exposure to the elements, and people should also check on their neighbours.
“This is the time to call your friends and check on them, especially if you know anyone that fits in those more susceptible positions such as senior citizens, low-income families, people that experience isolation, people who have limited local contacts, limited mobility, or don’t have the ability to be self-sufficient.”
Vulnerable populations on the street in need of shelter should be directed to Safe Harbour Society or The Mustard Seed. For information, visit reddeer.ca/cold