The Cold Weather Resource Kit is designed to inform service providers and the general public about cold-related risks and provide a coordinated response to extreme cold weather. The City of Ottawa’s Public Health Branch, Housing Branch, and the Ottawa Paramedic Service are working with The Salvation Army, the Red Cross and emergency shelter services to raise awareness, identify people in need of assistance, and ensure emergency shelter space is always available to them.
Please use these materials as needed with your clientele or as a resource, particularly as the temperatures drops below –15C. When a wind chill of –25 or colder is forecast, a Frostbite Alert is declared by the Medical Officer of Health. A Frostbite Warning is in effect when a wind chill of –35 or colder is forecast.
Information on preventing cold weather illness and injury provided by the Ottawa Paramedic Service:
Cold Weather Tips
Winter Driving Safety
If you would like a copy of the Kit please contact: Martha Robinson at 613-580-6744, ext. 23658.
Through this initiative, we can all play a role to make sure that residents of Ottawa are kept safe and warm during the winter months. Thank you and stay safe this winter!
Cover Letter from Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health and Anthony Di Monte, Chief, Paramedic Service
Dear Service Providers and Community Partners,
Enclosed, please find a Cold Weather Resource Kit for your information. This information package is part of a coordinated initiative to prevent cold-related injuries and deaths through increased awareness and education involving many local service providers, community agencies, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City of Ottawa.
The kit is designed to inform service providers and the general public about cold-related risks and provide a coordinated response to extreme cold weather situations. OPH and Paramedic Service as well as other City departments such as Community and Social Services, Parks, Recreation and Culture and Human Resources are working with the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and emergency shelter services to raise awareness, identify people in need of assistance, and ensure emergency shelter space is always available when needed.
At certain temperature thresholds, the risks of frostbite and other cold weather injuries and illnesses increase. A Frostbite Advisory is in effect when a wind chill of -25 or colder is forecasted. Key service providers including homeless shelters, outreach workers and community resource centres are encouraged to monitor the weather and use cold weather precautions to ensure the safety of individuals. Service providers may take direct action or, in the case of a homeless person, may call the "Help for the Homeless" phone line at 613-580-2626 or 3-1-1. The City’s call centre answers calls on a priority basis and referrals are made to appropriate, available services.
A Frostbite Warning is in effect when a wind chill of -35 or colder is forecasted. A Public Service Announcement and Social Media messaging will be released to remind Ottawa residents about the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia. In addition, key service providers will be warned about the increased risk to the homeless and other at-risk groups.
In Canada, more than 80 people die each year from over-exposure to the cold. Homeless people, infants, the elderly, and newcomers to Canada are particularly vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia.
Through this initiative, we can all help to ensure that vulnerable populations are kept safe and warm during the winter months.
Thank you and stay safe this winter!
Dr. Isra Levy
Medical Officer of Health
Ottawa Public Health
Anthony Di Monte
Chief, Ottawa Paramedic Service