In cold weather you should wear multiple layers of dry clothing, a wind or waterproof outer layer and a PFD or lifejacket.
Cold water protection gear can also be worn. Some examples are:
Your skin and blood temperature in your arms and legs drop quickly
You start shivering
You may have trouble breathing and be unable to use your hands
The temperature of your heart, brain, and other organs drops gradually
You may become unconscious, and if you are in the water, you may drown
If your body temperature drops further, you can die of heart failure
What are the signs?
Poor coordination of movements
Slowing down and falling behind
Numb hands and feet leading to stumbling and clumsiness
Dazed, confused, careless or forgetful behavior
Slowed or slurred speech; slow response to questions
Decreased attention span
Increasing your odds
Try to get your body out of the water. Climb onto the boat. Haul yourself onto a log or dock. Grab onto a floating object. Cold water depletes body heat faster than air.
If you are alone and if you are wearing a Canadian-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD), slow down body heat loss through the Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP). The HELP position can increase your survival time by 50%.
Cross your arms tightly against your chest and draw your knees up. Remain calm and still. Do not try to swim. Unnecessary movement will use energy that your body requires to survive. Practice the HELP position with a friend in warm water!
If you are with other people wearing PFDs, everyone should ‘HUDDLE’. You may increase your group’s survival time by 50%.
HUDDLE with everyone’s chests and sides close together. Intertwine legs and extend your arms around the people next to you.
How do I prepare?
Wear a Canadian-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
Some PFDs provide insulation against cold water.
Wear a whistle on your PFD or clothing. A whistle can be used to signal for help.
In cool weather, wear rain gear over and/or wool clothes under your PFD. Wool insulates even when wet. Wear layers of clothing and a hat. As much as 60% of body heat loss occurs from the head.
Carry matches in a waterproof container. A fire can help you warm up after exposure to cold or can help you signal for assistance.
Check with your local weather office before you head out. Be alert to changes in the weather that could influence your safety.
Be prepared. Don’t go out alone. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you plan to return.
It is always a good idea to leave a trip plan before going out on the water. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. A trip plan can be left with your local Coast Guard, a marina, friend or relative. Do not deviate from your filed trip plan.
Know your craft and how to handle it in both calm and rough conditions. Do not overload.
Avoid the use of alcohol. It doesn’t warm you up and will interfere with your ability to make critical judgments.
Many factors affect ice thickness including: type of water, location, the time of year and other environmental factors such as:
Water depth and size of body of water.
Currents, tides and other moving water.
Chemicals including salt.
Fluctuations in water levels.
Logs, rocks and docks absorbing heat from the sun.
Changing air temperature.
Shock waves from vehicles traveling on the ice.
The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength.
Clear blue ice is strongest.
White opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Opaque ice is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice.
Grey ice is unsafe. The grayness indicates the presence of water.
Check with local authorities before heading out. Avoid going out on ice at night.
When You Are Alone On Ice
If you get into trouble on ice and you’re by yourself:
Call for help.
Resist the immediate urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area.
Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach.
Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on the ice.
When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are going in the right direction.
When You Are With Others On Ice
Rescuing another person from ice can be dangerous. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore.
Call for help. Consider whether you can quickly get help from trained professionals (police, fire fighters or ambulance) or bystanders.
Check if you can reach the person using a long pole or branch from shore – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person.
If you go onto ice, wear a PFD and carry a long pole or branch to test the ice in front of you. Bring something to reach or throw to the person (e.g. pole, weighted rope, line or tree branch).
When near the break, lie down to distribute your weight and slowly crawl toward the hole.
Remaining low, extend or throw your emergency rescue device (pole, rope, line or branch) to the person.
Have the person kick while you pull them out.
Move the person to a safe position on shore or where you are sure the ice is thick. Signal for help.
Mayor Altmann and the Mayor’s Community Fund committee are to be commended for honouring the essential work, groups and organizations do in the community.
Kyle Jenkin on behalf of the MLRA is receiving award from Mayor Altmann
On Wednesday December the 14th, the MLRA was one of 36 recipients of a monetary award from the Mayor’s Community Fund. This fund is used to recognize groups and organizations that are involved in the betterment of our community. Kyle Jenkin and Lisa Gallager-White attended the celebration at the Royal Canadian Legion and accepted the cheque on behalf of the MLRA.
The MLRA will be using these funds for environmental projects. Along with other monies that we continue to raise through various fundraising campaigns the funds will enable us to monitor and maintain the health of our amazing Lake and community.
LSRCA Watershed Heroes award given to the MLRA
Thanks to the MLRA membership, and the community, this is not the first time the MLRA has been recognized for its work. The LSRCA in 2011 honoured the MLRA by awarding it one of the ecologically prestigious Water Shed Heroes Awards.
Is there is a project that you feel we should be looking at?
Have an idea for a project?
Please feel free to email us with your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org
With Longer Nights Upon Us Please Take Extra Care To “See And Been Seen”.
The Lake Road is even more dangerous during our long dark winter nights. We have decided to re-post this article again as a reminder that…”The Lake Road Is Dangerous”. Please share, care and be aware.
The Lake Road is Dangerous
BUT… We Are Our Own Worst Enemies
The road around the Lake was built as a cottage road. It was never intended to hold the volume of cars, pedestrians, runners and cyclists that now use it. Even though, through the years road safety has been improved dramatically around the lake (reduced speed limits, improved guardrails and intersection re-engineering), there is still one major problem that has always been with us and still is the greatest threat to everyone’s safety. That problem is speeding. Councillor Bannon reacting to residents’ complaints about speed arranged for the York Region Police to set up speed traps. Over 80% are local residents!
Based on this data…we are our own worst enemies.
The immediate solution, to making this road less dangerous lies with the residents, both drivers and pedestrians. The immediate solution lies with all of us putting our neighbour’s safety first rather than the fact we might be late for work or an appointment. Even though through the years the road has become safer, it is never going to be totally safe unless we all slow down. The solution lies within each of the residents as drivers respecting the safety of the pedestrians and also pedestrians respecting the drivers. Both pedestrians and drivers must play a major role in this common sense safety equation.
Common sense tells us that…
It is not safe to speed especially on narrow, multi-use, community roads.
It is not safe when pedestrians and cyclists do not dress to be seen and blend in with the scenery.
It is not safe for pedestrians to use this road in inclement weather.
It is not safe to have inadequate street lighting (certain residents have threatened to shoot out proper new lighting).
Please treat our lake road as a cottage road. It is neither a pedestrian board walk nor a typical road but serves our community as both. We have a very unique community with a very unique road, which with some effort can be shared safely by all.
Drivers need to slow down and also realize that the speed of 40kph is the suggested and posted MAXIMUM speed. That doesn’t mean you have to travel at 40kph when meeting other cars and/or pedestrians on the road. Please recognize this is not a safe speed for sharing this narrow road with other traffic and SLOW DOWN.
Pedestrians please help out the drivers for not only your safety but also theirs. Do not walk 3 and 4 abreast and around corners please be extra cautious and walk single file. Dress to be seen. Wear bright and reflective clothing in order to be readily seen by the drivers. It’s a safety statement rather than a fashion statement. At night, you should be wearing reflective clothing and carry a small flashlight. Help the drivers to see you and they will in most cases instinctively slow down and give you room going by.
Please avoid walking the dog or especially the kids on this road when it’s raining or snowing. It’s a very difficult road to share with vehicles on the best of days but, in bad weather you have the added risk of not only the vehicles have less traction/visibility but, also you are more likely to slip which could be fatal if a car happens by at the same time.
If our community as a whole takes safety seriously, both pedestrians and motorists will immediately find that this cottage road in our community becomes less dangerous. Everyone has to recognize that it will never be totally safe and that safety starts at home. Please respect the dangers of our local roads and be safety conscious for your own safety and for the safety of our whole community who walk, hike, bike and drive the roads on a daily basis.
Maybe we can all learn to share this unique road so we can enjoy it without our safety being threatened.
The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and just opened packages of loose leaf paper will soon be filling the air as students gear up to go back to school. While new supplies and old friends may be the focus for your child, it’s important to make sure they start the year off safely by reviewing these important tips before the first day of classes rolls around.
Children walking or biking to school need to be familiar with the route they will be taking. Choose a direct route away from busy streets, and make sure you practice the route with them a few times before school starts to make sure they’re comfortable. Make sure they have a travel buddy – a friend, sibling or neighbour – so they aren’t making the journey alone.
Mind Your Step
Remind children to pay attention to their surroundings when walking or biking. That means no texting while walking or bilking, and leaving headphones in their backpacks so they can hear what’s going on around them. Review traffic safety and remind your child to wait at crosswalks and to look both ways before crossing the street!
Make sure your child knows not to talk to strangers and never to get in a vehicle with someone they don’t know, no matter what they say. Tell them not to venture away from school grounds and to tell a teacher or another adult they know right away if an adult they don’t know tries to talk them into leaving with them.
School Bus Safety
Discuss school bus safety with your child and remind them how important it is to stay seated for the entire trip. Make sure they know to never walk in front of the bus unless the driver has indicated it is safe to do so.
Check your child’s backpack to make sure it fits them properly and isn’t too heavy. Backpacks can cause back issues and falls if they aren’t adjusted properly or are too heavy.
Tell an Adult
Discuss bullying with your child and work with them to develop effective coping strategies, Make sure they know not to give in to a bully’s demands or retaliate, but to say stop, walk away and tell an adult.