Summer-like weather is in the forecast for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. (Vista Radio photo)
Health officials are warning the public of extreme heat sweeping across the lower mainland and coastal communities.
Environment Canada has reported high temperatures forecasted from between 32 to 35 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows of 17 to 19 degrees. Humidex values during the weekend will reach the high 30’s. VCH states that temperatures like this are historically associated with an increase in deaths among residents.
The warning affects North Shore, Vancouver, Richmond, Howe Sound, Whistler, Pemberton, and the Sunshine Coast, as well as Eastern Metro Vancouver.
While the alert is in effect, Vancouver Coastal Health states that cooling centres will be open, and no one should be denied access to these centres because of concerns about crowding or physical distancing. Additionally, VCH recommended that if someone is having difficulty wearing a mask and breathing in the heat, whether indoors or outdoors, they should take it off.
Cooling centers will be available across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, including most public libraries, shopping centres, and recreational facilities. A list of cooling centers are available here.
VCH states that ‘the young, the elderly, those working or exercising in the heat, persons with chronic heart and lung conditions, some people with mental health conditions, people living alone and people experiencing homelessness or inadequate housing’ and any other vulnerable parties should advise extra caution.
Health officials suggest;
- Conducting regular checks on vulnerable people
- Symptoms of severe heat-related illness can include dizziness, confusion, weakness and fainting or collapsing, including loss of consciousness. If medical help is required, dial 911.
- If you are unsure where to seek care, call 8-1-1 or your family physician.
- Accessing other air conditioned spaces
- If other options are unavailable, access public splash parks, lakes, streams, or the ocean.
- Keeping your home cool
- Avoiding tiring work or exercise in the heat
- Staying hydrated
- Keeping pets and children cool
- Do not leave pets or children within a parked car.
- Dressing for the weather
More information about how to stay safe during the heatwave is available here and here.