School tries warming tarps for cold-weather emergencies

CBC

Students at a Lockport, Man., school took part in a unique cold-weather fire drill on Tuesday, testing out tarps that could keep them warm in emergencies.

About 400 students and staff at Lockport School huddled under six large tarps, as part of a system developed by cold-weather expert Gordon Giesbrecht — popularly known as "Professor Popsicle" — from the University of Manitoba.

In a real emergency, students could be outside for upwards of 25 minutes, waiting for school buses to take them home.

So Mark Blieske, an industrial arts teacher, contacted Giesbrecht about ways to stay warm.

"We always thought the buses would be a good solution," Blieske told CBC News.

"We realized that having been out there in the cold weather … that wasn't the good solution."

To help them stay protected from the cold, Giesbrecht came up with a simple but effective design using a large sheet of plastic marked with dots where poles are quickly placed to hold up the makeshift tent.

"Then we tuck in the sides and it's like a little greenhouse," explained Grade 8 student Abbey Thickson.

Inside the tarps, the temperature rose from 0 C to 15 C within 10 minutes, according to Thickson's measurements.

While it was not very cold in Lockport on Tuesday, it does not take much to get frostbite in typical Manitoba winter conditions.

For example, if the temperature outside was –25 C and winds were at 30 kilometres an hour, exposed skin could freeze in about 10 minutes.

"In that kind of condition, you could very easily have cases of frostbite," Giesbrecht said.

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Russia warns sanctions will backfire on West

    A defiant Russia said Wednesday that Western sanctions over Ukraine would backfire on the United States and lead to energy price hikes in Europe after Brussels and Washington unveiled the toughest punitive measures against Moscow since the Cold War. Russia's response came as the Ukrainian military…

    AFP
  • Seattle cop who issued 80 percent of marijuana tickets reassigned

    By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - The Seattle Police Department has reassigned an officer who single-handedly issued about 80 percent of the marijuana tickets handed out in the city during the first half of this year, authorities said on Wednesday. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said…

    Reuters
  • Record up to 6 shows at once with FiOS Quantum TV

    Get superior entertainment with FiOS TV, Internet & Phone at a great price & a Free Upgrade to FiOS Quantum TV-Enhanced Service with 2/yr. agreement.

    AdChoicesVerizon FiOSSponsored
  • Despite concerns, US restocks Israel with ammunition

    The United States confirmed it had restocked Israel's supplies of ammunition, hours after finally sharpening its tone to condemn an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza. "Obviously nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians seeking shelter in a UN facility," deputy State Department…

    AFP
  • View

    Water pollution in China (11 photos)

    Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted. China aims to spend $850 billion to improve filthy water supplies over the next decade, but even such huge outlays may do…

    Yahoo News
  • Detroit police: Sleeping boy, 8, shot and killed

    DETROIT (AP) — Sporadic gunfire isn't an unusual sound in the Brewster Homes public housing complex in Detroit, but booming noises that shook Tenesha Higgins early Wednesday morning were way too close.

    Associated Press
  • Sheriff: Baby left in van outside doctor's office

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A doctor and nurses went to the aid of a 2-month-old baby girl after a Florida mom left the infant in a hot minivan outside a pediatrician's office for about an hour, authorities say.

    Associated Press
  • Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah airline pilot was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in prison for groping a 14-year-old girl in the seat next to him during an off-duty flight.

    Associated Press
  • Police assist 'Woman in Black' after crowd surrounds her in Virginia

    By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A woman dressed in all black who has been spotted strolling along highways in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest needed police assistance after she was surrounded by a group of about 50 curious people in Virginia, authorities said on Wednesday. Police in Winchester,…

    Reuters
  • 10 Coolest Cars Under $25,000

    You don't have to spend a fortune to ride in style. We list this year's cars that are sure to make your friends jealous of your cool factor.

    AdChoicesKelley Blue BookSponsored
  • Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq: sources

    A Hezbollah commander has died during a mission in Iraq, sources familiar with the incident said on Wednesday, indicating the Lebanese group that is already fighting in Syria's civil war may be involved in a second conflict in the region. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite Islamist group, has not…

    Reuters
  • Police arrest New Mexico man suspected of killing, marinating dog

    By Joseph Kolb ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Sheriff's deputies have arrested a New Mexico man suspected of extreme animal cruelty after he was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's puppy with a screwdriver then marinating it in preparation for eating it, authorities said on Wednesday. "I would say…

    Reuters
  • Text message from slain Michigan girl's phone is clue in case

    A text message from a Michigan girl's phone is part of the investigation into her death, police said on Wednesday. April Millsap, 14, of Armada, Michigan, was found dead on Thursday along a recreation trail popular with joggers, walkers and cyclists in Macomb County. "There is a text message that…

    Reuters
  • Air Algerie jet plunged rapidly from altitude before crash: official

    The Air Algerie flight that crashed in Mali last week appears to have plummeted to the ground from an altitude of 10,000 metres in just a few minutes after flying into a storm, a senior official involved in the investigation was quoted as saying. French officials have said they believe bad weather…

    Reuters
  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

    Associated Press
  • U.S. doctor, missionary with Ebola show improvement

    By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - Two American aid workers infected with Ebola in Africa while responding to an outbreak of the deadly virus have shown slight improvement but remain in serious condition, a relief organization said on Wednesday. Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy…

    Reuters
  • 3 Ways to Manage Family Spending

    Manage your family spending with American Express Serve Subaccounts to give allowances, pay babysitters, and cover college expenses. Learn More!

    AdChoicesAmerican Express Sponsored
  • Filipina nurse kidnapped, raped in Libya's Tripoli

    Unknown gunmen kidnapped and raped a Filipina nurse Wednesday in the Libyan capital, medics and security officials said. The ministry said the incident could push the Philippines to speed up the evacuation of its citizens, 3,000 of whom work in Libya as doctors and nurses, as the country sinks…

    AFP
  • Police charge man with raping woman at raucous Massachusetts concert

    By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts man with raping a woman at a raucous country music concert south of Boston on Saturday where dozens of people received treatment for alcohol-related medical problems. Police in Mansfield, Massachusetts, the site of the…

    Reuters
  • Play

    Boy, 3, Dies After Being Trapped in Hot Car: LAPD

    A 3-year-old boy climbed into a hot vehicle, got trapped, went into cardiac arrest and died Wednesday, police said. Tim Lynn reports from Sky5 above Sylmar for the KTLA 5 News at 6 on July 30, 2014.

    KTLA - Los Angeles
  • OBSESSION OVER SIX-PACK ABS PUTS SWIMMER IN UNSAFE WATER

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking like a movie star might finally get me noticed…

    Dear Abby
  • Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

    MIAMI (AP) — One of the last things Miami Heat President Pat Riley told LeBron James before free agency began this summer was that he would be selling potential players on the notion of playing alongside a four-time NBA MVP.

    Associated Press
  • Searchers find bodies of Arkansas man, infant son

    DANVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A four-day search for an Arkansas man and his 10-month-old son came to a grim end Tuesday as authorities discovered their bodies in a remote area of the Ouachita Mountains, authorities said Tuesday.

    Associated Press
  • American Express Cards

    Earn Cash Back, Travel, or Points. Find the Card That's Right For You!

    AdChoicesAmerican ExpressSponsored