Heat wave warnings continue for parts of Vancouver Island

Heat wave warnings continue for parts of Vancouver Island
With temperatures forecast to reach up to 35 degrees, Island Health is recommending people to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness.

Parts of Vancouver Island remain under heat warnings by Environment Canada due to daytime temperatures of up to 35 degrees.

Inland Vancouver Island is expected to reach 35 degrees through the day from now until Thursday. Overnight temperatures should provide “some relief” as temperatures will drop into the low teens.

Greater Victoria, Southern Gulf Islands, East Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are forecast to reach temperatures up to 29 to 34 degrees, with overnight temperatures reaching a low of 16 until Wednesday.

West and North Vancouver Island are not under any warnings.

“A strong ridge of high pressure will remain over southern BC through Wednesday,” Environment Canada says on its website. “Well above seasonal daytime temperatures combined with elevated overnight temperatures will mean little relief from the heat. Temperatures are expected to lower a few degrees on Thursday as the ridge begins to break down.”

Island Health recommends taking precautions to avoid heat-related illness during the heat wave.

If you don’t have air conditioning, Island Health recommends finding somewhere with air conditioning like libraries, community centres, movie theatres or malls to spend time in to cool off.

During the heat of the day, close windows and blinds to block the sun and open doors and windows during the evening when it cools down to draw in the cooler air.

Ensure you have a fan, but do not rely on it for cooling. “Fans can be used to draw cooler late-evening, overnight and early-morning air indoors,” Island Health says. Use an indoor thermometer or thermostat to keep track of the indoor temperature.

If your home is very hot, try to stay with friends or family with air conditioning.

Make sure to drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated.

Spray your body with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath or sit with a part of your body in water to help cool down.

Make sure to take it easy especially during the hottest times of day, and stay in the shade and use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.

During a heat wave, check in on people who are more vulnerable to heat-related illness and offer help.

People who are most at risk are:

  • older adults, especially those over 60
  • people who live alone
  • people with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or respiratory disease
  • people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression or anxiety
  • people with substance use disorders
  • people with limited mobility and other disabilities
  • people who are marginally housed
  • people who work in hot environments
  • people who are pregnant
  • infants and young children

If you or someone you’re with is overheating, make sure to take immediate action.

Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, a headache, and dizziness. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst and dark urine. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of weater, rest and use water to cool down.

Signs of heat stroke include loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion, severe nausea or vomiting and very dark or no urine. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and you should call 911 if someone is experiencing these symptoms.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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