By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
For some Albertans last week, the air outside was a solid 25 degrees colder than the inside of their freezers.
Although schools remained open as temperatures plummeted below -35 degrees Celsius, Palliser School Division announced buses would not run on Dec. 22 due to the extreme cold. The morning after the shortest day of the year, Coaldale residents awoke to -46 C factoring in the wind chill, while other parts of Alberta saw -55 C factoring in the windchill.
As such, calls for roadside assistance rose significantly. According to Alberta Motor Association’s (AMA) time estimate tool, on the morning of Dec. 22, Coaldale residents would need to wait a full day before they could expect a tow from AMA. Calgarians requiring roadside assistance were facing an 84-hour wait for towing services and over 60 hours for a battery boost.
With extreme wind chill values and poor driving conditions, drivers are encouraged to travel with an emergency car kit. The government of Canada’s basic car kit includes non-perishable emergency food such as energy bars, freeze-resistant water bottles, a blanket, extra clothing including gloves, a first aid kit, a small shovel, and sand.
The entire list of recommended items for an emergency kit can be found at https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/sfttps/tp201012-en.aspx.