As winter continues, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is offering some advice to people who may be struggling with the cold. The advice comes after an Extreme Cold Warning from Environment Canada, warning of low temperatures and cold winds in multiple municipalities throughout the region for the evening of January 10th.

Health Unit Communications Coordinator Susan Healey says you need to “take appropriate precautions” on cold nights if you’re living without proper heating or shelter. “Unprotected skin can freeze in as little as 10–30 minutes,” Healey says, “and the risk of developing hypothermia is high.” She says young children, the elderly, and people with health conditions or taking medication that makes them sensitive to the cold are the most at risk.

The Health Unit recommends you cover any skin on your body, avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks, and wear several layers of warm, dry clothing to keep the wind off you in the cold. 

If you plan to do a lot of driving this winter, the organization also recommends you keep a winter driving survival kit in your car, and look up road conditions before you go out.