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City’s EMO urges residents to be prepared & safety-aware during extreme cold

For immediate release: Mon, 2020-01-13 15:49
FI 20-966

With the Extreme Cold Warning in effect for Saskatoon this week issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada, it’s important for everyone to be well- prepared and safety-aware.

The Saskatoon Emergency Management Organization would like everyone to consider the following helpful information now and in the weeks ahead.

The extreme cold will impact the entire city, placing everyone at high-risk for potential frostbite and hypothermia. The most vulnerable are those with limited housing options, seniors, young children, people with chronic illnesses, and people working or exercising outdoors.

  • Please remember: if it's too cold for you to stay outside, it's too cold and dangerous to let your pet outside during extreme temperatures
  • If you are going out, ensure you are dressed for the weather – cover your head, and wear layers to add or remove
  • If you must be outside, seek shelter and keep moving to maintain body heat
  • If you begin to experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia, seek medical attention or call 9-1-1

The City of Saskatoon joins with various other agencies including the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership, the United Way and several emergency shelters on a Cold Weather Strategy. Activated since January 8, 2020, this Strategy is in place to ensure everyone sleeps in a safe place during extremely cold nights in Saskatoon. Homeless individuals and families can warm up at any of these 11 locations.

Extreme cold makes for higher demand on health care, emergency services and electricity. Residents are encouraged to follow @YXEServiceAlert  on Twitter or check the City’s website for Service Alerts for updates on power outages affecting Saskatoon Light & Power customers.

It is a good idea to be personally prepared by having a 72-hour emergency kit ready in case you need to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Also consider keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle with extra warm clothes, blankets and candles, and snacks. Saskatoon residents are also encouraged to sign-up for notifynow and tell the City how to best reach you with timely, trusted and targeted public safety messages for when you need to know.

Another reminder for residents is Saskatoon Transit’s SafeBus program runs year ‘round. If you are lost, cold, scared, or hurt - hold up your hand (palm out) in the direction of an approaching Transit bus, or go to a parked bus, & the transit operator will stop, contact emergency services & provide shelter to the next terminal.

Be Prepared, Be Safe

  • Don’t venture out when extreme weather conditions are expected. If you must travel, avoid remote areas and let someone know where you’re going, and your expected arrival time
  • Consider using Saskatoon Transit to avoid driving in extreme weather – it’s already warmed up and ready to take you where you need to go!
  • Check your home’s furnace and exhaust vents to make sure snow and ice are not blocking them. Poisonous Carbon monoxide can build up within your home
  • Keep your walkways free of ice and snow, this helps all community members move safely through neighbourhoods
  • Be a snow angel and help out shoveling for neighbors’ who may be unable to
  • Clear snow away from fire hydrants in your neighbourhood to make sure first-responders can access them

Stay safe, and stay warm! Visit saskatoon.ca for more tips on being prepared.