Preparing for sweltering heat wave expected for Canada Day weekend

Prepare for heatwaves with these tips This long weekend will bring more than Canada Day festivities as a heat wave, targeting Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, will apparently reach record-setting temperatures.

Environment Canada has issued heat alerts to get Canadians ready for a blistering hot Canada Day weekend

Canada can see a lot of weather fluctuation this time of year with high-soaring heat then cooler, cloudier days. For the long weekend, many parts of Canada, especially eastern provinces and East Coast, will be experiencing temperatures in low to mid-30s, with humidex values into mid-40s.

With this impending heat wave, here are some tips and resources on how to prepare to weather the heat safely.

To get ready for a heat wave:

  • Find ways to keep cool before hot weather starts such as arranging air conditioning and fans, and keeping your home cool.
  • Learn about places you can go to get cool such as public libraries, malls, and your municipality cooling shelter. Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time – home, work and school – and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Download the official Canadian Red Cross first aid app.
  • Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

During a heat wave:

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids – this is the most important step you can take to preventing a heat emergency.
  • Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Know the humidex rating – it combines the temperature and humidity to indicate how hot the weather feels to the average person.
  • Dress for the heat and for your activity level. Wear light, loose clothing to let air circulate and heat escape.
  • Always wear a hat and apply sunscreen before going outside.
  • Slow down your activities as it gets hotter. Don’t work, exercise, or play outside for an extended period of time. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors to let your body cool off.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they can cause dehydration, which stops your body from controlling its temperature properly.

Heat-related illness can affect us if we are exposed to too much heat and our body temperatures rise. If you suspect someone is experiencing heat illness, here are symptoms to look for:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Extreme thirst
  • Decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine
  • Changes of behaviour in children

If you have any symptoms of heat illness during extreme heat, move to a cool place and drink water. If symptoms don’t improve, call 9-1-1. If you are unclear if heat illness is occurring, call 9-1-1. 
Remember to check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat – and check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Continue to drink plenty of water even after a heat wave.
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