Extreme cold

Canadian winters can be severe. It is essential to understand how to avoid the serious effects of extreme cold (Health Canada) while continuing to enjoy outdoor activities.

What are the dangers of cold weather?

There are two main health risks related to cold weather: frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is when the skin and underlying tissues freeze and then die due to loss of oxygen. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops below 35°C.

What is wind chill?

Wind chill (Environment Canada) is the result of blowing wind making it feel colder outside than it actually is. This is because the moving air removes heat from the body much faster than still air, despite having no change in temperature.

The Health Unit’s role

The Health Unit supports the Sudbury Homelessness Network (City of Greater Sudbury) in its operation of the Extreme Cold Weather Alert System (City of Greater Sudbury), which notifies shelters and the public through a public service announcement that the temperature is expected to be below -15°C, or -20°C with the wind chill.

Protect yourself against the cold

Listen to the weather forecast:

Plan ahead:

Seek shelter:

Stay dry:

Keep active:

Be aware:


This item was last modified on June 12, 2015