How are newcomers adjusting to the cold Prairie winters?

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Newcomers adjust to cold, Canadian weather
WATCH: Prairie winters can be brutal and may take some time to get used to. If you're a new to Canada and from a warmer climate, the cold weather can be a real adjustment. Tiffany Lizée reports – Feb 7, 2019

Prairie winters can be brutal and it can take a few days, or longer, to get used to it.

So if you’re new to Canada — and maybe from a warmer climate — the weather can be a real adjustment.

When a group of 600 immigrants were asked what they liked least about living in Canada, 31 per cent named the cold weather, according to a survey conducted by the Environics Institute in 2016.

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“My first winter [in Calgary], I didn’t do anything because I had no idea [what to wear], but this second winter, I prepared myself, I bought with winter shoes and a jacket,” said Dhuha Mothana Muslim Alshawi, who moved to Alberta from Pakistan.

It’s common for newcomers to be unsure how best to dress for the subfreezing temperatures.

Noha Tanahi is with the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society and said it’s not always a lack of understanding — not having enough money to buy winter clothing is also an issue for some.

“If I have somebody come to me and ask for a winter jacket, we try to find the jackets for them, that’s what we do to, either us or through other agency,” Tanahi said.

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society helps newcomers budget for winter clothing purchases and direct them where to go to buy what is needed.

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Donating winter clothing

Project Warmth, the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Women in Need Society all accept donations of winter clothing which can help some folks who are making a new start during the frigid winter.

To stay updated with radar and weather alerts in your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

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