Heat Warning Issued for Peterborough City and County
Written by admin, June 24, 2013
June 24, 2013 – Residents Advised to Take Precautions to Avoid Heat-Related Illness
The Peterborough Public Health is upgrading its previous Heat Alert to a Heat Warning for Peterborough City and County based on forecasted temperatures for today and tomorrow to help residents cope with the continuing hot, humid weather.
A Heat Warning is issued when one of the following conditions is met:
- daytime temperatures or Humidex are forecast to be at least 36°C or 36 for two consecutive days with a smog advisory; or
- daytime temperatures or Humidex are forecast to be at least 40°C or Humidex reading of 40 for two consecutive days without a smog advisory; or
- night time temperatures are forecast to be at least 25°C for two consecutive nights.
This Heat Warning is being issued because Humidex readings are expected to reach at least 40 for today and tomorrow without a smog advisory.
During a Heat Warning, Public Health advises the suspension of strenuous outdoor sports activities and asks that caretakers and family members check more frequently on vulnerable groups particularly people with underlying chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, infants, and the elderly.
Extreme heat events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, shut-ins, persons with chronic diseases, the morbidly obese and the marginally housed. Heat related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable. Most healthy people can tolerate a short period of hot and humid weather as long as they stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.
People taking medications may be more vulnerable to extreme heat as certain medications may interfere with the body’s cooling functions and water/salt retention. People taking antihypertensives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-Parkinson’s agents are more likely to experience difficulty adapting to high temperatures and should consult with their healthcare provider to see if they are at an increased health risk in the heat.
In order to protect the health of people in Peterborough County and City, Curve Lake First Nation, and Hiawatha First Nation, Public Health advises local residents to take the following precautions:
- Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola.
- Avoid going out in the blazing sun or heat when possible. If you must go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible and plan to go out early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
- Go to air conditioned or cool places such as shopping malls, libraries, community centres or a friend’s place.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, keep shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows slightly open.
- Keep lights off or turned down low.
- Open windows to let air circulate when using a fan.
- Wear loose fitting, light clothing and a wide brimmed hat.
- Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
- Avoid heavy meals and using your oven.Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- heavy sweating
- muscle cramps
- paleness, tiredness
- dizziness, nausea
Often with forecasted extreme heat, comes forecasts for poor air quality. The Public Health would like to encourage residents to monitor the Air Quality Health Index found as a link on Environment Canada’s Weather page for Peterborough and plan outdoor activities accordingly http://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/onaq-013_e.html. This link can also be easily accessed on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca in the section entitled “My Home & Environment – Air Quality – Outdoor”.
Public, air conditioned facilities such as malls, libraries and community centres are available to city and county residents seeking a place to cool off. Residents are advised to phone in advance to determine hours of operation.
For further information, please contact:
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391