HALIFAX -- It was a very cold day to work outside Friday with wind chill in the minus 20s.

It's also a dangerous time for people who usually sleep outside.

It felt like -19 in Halifax Friday afternoon.

Because of the weather, the Out of the Cold Shelter, which operates out of the Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Centre, extended its hours to help those in need.

"We'll enact extreme weather protocol, which will meant that we'll most likely open early if we have enough volunteers and staff and everybody can stay for the whole evening, the whole night with us," said Jeff Karabanow of the Out of the Cold Shelter.

The Canadian Red Cross is encouraging people to be careful when on or near the ice.

"We always recommend that you're looking for at least 10 centimetres of solid ice for one person to be skating or walking, 20 for a group, 25 for machines and 40 for vehicles," said Dan Bedellof the Canadian Red Cross.

Bedell says even though the ice may look like it's thick enough, you still should test it.

The SPCA is also reminding people to think about our furry friends when the mercury drops.

"In this type of weather, we want to encourage people to keep their pets indoor when possible," said Jo-Anne Landsburg

Nova Scotia SPCA."There are lots of dogs that like to be outside during this weather, we want to keep those times limited."