Heat Warning ENDED by Environment and Climate Change Canada:
On this page:
If you are in the area under a Heat Warning:
- Know the symptoms of heat-related illness and seek medical care if you or someone you are caring for are unwell:
- Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in case of a medical emergency.
- Take steps to keep your home cool or seek cooler locations, such as a community Cooling Centre.
- Check on family, friends and neighbours who are at higher risk of heat-related illness, particularly if they live alone.
- Drink plenty of water. Be aware that sugary or alcoholic drinks cause dehydration.
- If you must be outdoors, take precautions to stay cool like wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, seeking cooler outdoor spaces and staying in shaded areas as much as possible.
- Monitor local sources of information and follow all instructions from your municipality, Local Authority or First Nation.
In response to Heat Warnings, local governments and First Nations in affected areas may open cooling centres for the public.
Cooling centre locations are listed on Emergency Map BC. If cooling centres are not listed on the map in your area, visit your municipality, Local Authority or First Nation website or social media channels for more information.
Heat stroke is a health emergency. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number if you or someone you’re caring for is displaying symptoms.
Overheating can be harmful to your health and potentially deadly. If someone is experiencing symptoms such as rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, extreme thirst, altered levels of consciousness, and decreased urination with an unusually dark yellow colour, take immediate steps to cool down and seek emergency care:
- Get medical attention or call 911 or your local emergency number.
- Move to a cooler indoor or outdoor area.
- Take a cold shower or bath if it is safe to do so. Or, remove clothing and apply ice packs and wet cloths, especially around the neck, armpits, and groin. Replace wet cloths regularly.
Who is at greater risk?
Heat affects everyone, but the risks are greater for:
- Older adults (i.e. over 50)
- People who live alone or are socially isolated
- People with pre-existing health conditions such as:
- Heart disease, or
- Respiratory disease
- People with mental illness such as:
- Depression, or
- People with substance use disorders
- People who are marginally housed
- People who work in hot environments
- People who are pregnant
- Infants and young children, and
- People with other disabilities or limited mobility
Check on family, friends and neighbours, who are at higher risk, particularly if they live alone. Make sure they have a cool space. For people susceptible to heat, the risk increases at indoor temperatures higher than 26°C, and temperatures higher than 31°C can be dangerous.
Staying cool indoors
- If you have air conditioning, turn it on.
- If you do not have air conditioning, make your home cooler by:
- Closing shutters, curtains, or blinds during the day (starting around 10am). This traps the cooler air inside and blocks the sun.
- Re-open curtains or blinds and windows at around 8 p.m. to let the cooler overnight air into the house.
- Place multiple fans around your home to help move cooler air into the home overnight.
- Take cool baths or showers.
Staying cool outdoors
- Seek cooler outdoor spaces and stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
- Do errands in the morning or late in the day.
- Never leave children or pets in a parked car.
- Stay in the shade and wear a hat and protective clothing.
- Use sunscreen and UV-protective eyewear.
- Seek cooler, breezier areas when outdoors, such as large parks near trees and water.
To prepare for heat, refer to the following resources:
- BC Centre for Disease Control – Preparing for Heat Events
- PreparedBC – Be Prepared for Heat
- PreparedBC – Extreme Heat Guide (PDF, 9.4 MB)
For heat safety recommendations specific to your area, visit the heat information provided by your local health authority:
- Fraser Health
- Interior Health
- First Nations Health Authority
- Island Health
- Northern Health
- Vancouver Coastal Health
If you suspect heat-related illness, contact a healthcare provider or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. Mild to moderate heat illness can quickly become severe. In case of a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1.
About heat alerts
There are two kinds of heat alerts issued in BC:
- Heat Warning: daytime and overnight temperatures are higher than usual, but they’re not getting hotter every day. Take the usual steps to stay cool.
- Extreme Heat Emergency: daytime and overnight temperatures are higher than usual, and are getting hotter every day. Activate your emergency plan for heat.
For more information about how Environment and Climate Change Canada determines Heat Warnings in BC, visit the Criteria for Public Weather Alerts.