Warming centres open as cold weather invades C-K

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Warming centres are open in Chatham as we sink into the deep freeze this week.

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for Chatham-Kent, as the mercury has dipped and the wind chill reached -30C overnight.

With the cold weather here, Employment & Social Services is offering a reminder that Hope Haven will offer its services as a warming centre in Chatham-Kent.

When the temperature in C-K is expected to drop below -5C for an extended period, Chatham Hope Haven will open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (as well as their daytime hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

At this time, Chatham Hope Haven is expected to open nightly until Friday.

Chatham Hope Haven is located at 183 Wellington St. W. in Chatham.  When they are open overnight, they also have their upstairs light on as a signal the services are available.

Transportation can be arranged for those that are outside of the downtown core, including areas outside of those listed by contacting the Homeless Response Line at 519-354-6228.

If you are or know someone in need of emergency housing should call 519-354-6228. 

Cold conditions create an elevated risk to health, such as frostbite and hypothermia. Although the extreme cold warning is predicted to end Monday morning, cold temperatures are in the forecast for C-K through the end of the week.

To avoid frostbite or hypothermia, dress warmly in layers, with warm gloves and boots; wear a hat, as 30 per cent of body heat escapes through the head; drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration (drinks containing caffeine can dehydrate); know that alcohol consumption increases the risk of hypothermia; and limit outdoor activity.

Remember not to leave pets outside for long, as they are also at risk from overexposure to extreme cold temperatures.

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