Public Health Upgrades Frostbite Alert to Frostbite Warning

Written by admin, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013 – To help vulnerable residents cope with the continuing extreme cold weather, Peterborough Public Health is upgrading its previous Frostbite Alert to a Frostbite Warning for Peterborough City and County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations because of forecasted wind chill values of -41 for Wednesday, January 1, 2014 and Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Frostbite Warnings are the second level in Public Health’s Extreme Cold Response Plan and are issued when temperatures are forecasted to be from -39ºC to -47ºC or a wind chill of -39 to -47.

Extreme cold events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, people with circulatory problems, and the marginally housed.

In order to protect the health of people in Peterborough County and City and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, Public Health advises local residents to take the following precautions:

  • Check face and extremities frequently for signs of frostbite. Exposed skin can freeze in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors and consider re-scheduling outdoor recreational activities, especially in the evenings. There is a serious risk of hypothermia if outdoors for long periods.
  • Reminding children and the elderly to stay indoors
  • Check on the elderly or people with disabilities living alone.


Cold related illnesses include:


Symptoms/signs include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling/uncoordinated
movements, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness.


Symptoms/signs include: white/greyish skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, or numbness.

Increases in other health problems can also be seen, especially for those with other chronic medical conditions such as heart conditions.

Further information about the health risks of extreme cold and Public Health’s Extreme Cold Response Plan can be found at under “My Home & Environment” by clicking on “Extreme Weather – Cold”.



For further information, please contact:

Julie Ingram
Public Health Inspector
(705) 743-1000, ext. 351