Warning: Extreme Cold Snap Ahead!
The first chilly needles of a true Alberta winter are rearing their heads this week. As temperatures are expected to reach -30 and below this week, here are a few tips, and what to do if you spot someone in distress.
Consider carrying an extra set of warm mittens, a toque, and scarf in the event that you encounter someone in need. Hand warmers and blankets also go a long way.
$5 Tim Hortons or McDonald’s cards also help – they provide the opportunity for individuals to get warm in a safe environment.
If you see someone in distress:
Pull over or stop: ask if they need assistance.
Dial 211 and press 3 for the Crisis Response Team. They will transport individuals in need of shelter or warmth to safety.
If possible, remain with the individual until they have reached safety.
For more information, visit: https://reachedmonton.ca/initiatives/24-7-crisis-diversion/
If it is an emergency:
If possible, remain with the individual(s) until help arrives.
If you are in need of warm clothing:
Bissell Centre – 10527 96 St
Boyle Street Community Services – 10116 – 105 Avenue NW
The Mustard Seed Community Support Centre- 10568 114 St
Hope Mission – 9908 106 Ave NW
Jasper Place Wellness Centre – 15626 100A Avenue
e4c – 9321 Jasper Avenue (Please note: We have limited jackets on hand and do not have footwear available)
If you are in need of shelter:
During the day – it is recommended that you seek refuge in public areas – malls, libraries, and recreation centres are all places to warm up! Edmonton Transit and other agencies are also operating Warming Buses and additional buses during the cold snap.
Homeward Trust, in collaboration with the City of Edmonton, has initiated the Winter Emergency Response Plan in light of the deep freeze.
For a complete list of shelters and winter warming areas, visit: http://homewardtrust.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WER-Guide-11-25-2019-.pdf
Al-Rashid Mosque (13070 113 St NW) has also opened it’s doors overnight to accommodate individuals seeking shelter. Food, basic necessities, and shelter available.
Commonwealth Rec Centre (11000 Stadium Rd NW) has been activated as an emergency shelter during the cold snap for overnight accommodation (10 PM – 7 AM)
- Boyle Street’s Winter Warming Bus will transport individuals between 9-11 PM to Commonwealth, along with Edmonton Transit System, which will also run a dedicated bus between shelters and drop-in centres to Commonwealth between 11 PM and 7 AM.
Tips for anyone heading out in the cold:
- Give yourself extra time. The roads are slippery, and cars and buses need extra time to get to their destination.
- Pack an extra blanket or emergency kit if possible, in the event that you get stuck or stranded in extreme conditions.
- If you have a phone, ensure it is fully charged before heading outside.
- Check in with friends/family regularly, when possible.
- Dress for the weather. With windchills reaching temperatures nearing -40, skin freezes in seconds. When possible, dress in layers and limit any skin exposure by wearing scarves, mittens, and toques.
- Jackets & cold-weather gear are desperately needed for our community! Donations can be dropped off at e4c, the United Way, Bissell Centre, Boyle Street, Hope Mission, the Mustard Seed, and other community agencies.
- Thick socks
- Boots/cold weather footwear
If you can, please give!