DAWSON CREEK, British Columbia (NEXSTAR) — A 68-year-old Canadian woman is dead, likely due to exposure to extreme temperatures, after visiting a next-door neighbor’s home.
The unnamed woman departed her friend’s house around 1 a.m. on February 7 and never made it back home, according to Dawson Creek authorities. She had reportedly consumed alcohol.
She was discovered by her friend the next morning.
“While a tragic event, it is a reminder that extreme temperatures can be dangerous and a threat to life only minutes after exposure,” the press release said.
“If required to travel, always pack a bag of clothes or wear layers and avoid traveling alone. If you cannot avoid traveling alone, have a ‘buddy’ whom knows your travel plans and estimated time of arrival, someone that can check up on you if you don’t arrive when you’re supposed to.”
The low on Feb. 7 in Dawson Creek was -44 degrees Fahrenheit. The high was 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Ottawa Public Health, more than 80 people die each year in Canada from exposure to cold. Frostbite injuries can result in amputations, while hypothermia can lead to brain damage and death.
At 5 degrees Fahrenheit, the public health agency said, hypothermia “becomes an increasing concern.” And when wind chill temperatures reach below -31 degrees Fahrenheit, “exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes.”