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Montreal ready as heat warning is announced

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It has been declared a heat ‘warning’, not a heat ’emergency’ like when several times last summer extreme heat waves hit the city and at least 66 people died from heat-related complications – but it is still a warning from the city to take necessary precautions. Montreal also announced it has a plan in place should they need to declare a heat emergency anytime this summer – but only when temperatures reach a high of 33 Celsius or more for three days in a row.

On Wednesday morning July 3rd, Environment Canada issued a heat ‘warning’ for the Montreal Island area, as well as for Laval, Longueuil/Varennes and Chateauguay/La Prairie – as the heat and humidity will be high enough so that people could still get a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. This is now day two of four days expected when temperatures will be rising higher than 30 Celsius and the city will carefully monitor the situation and take steps if required to make sure people in need are watched and kept cool.

Humidity could still cause heat strokes and heat exhaustion

The forecasted temperatures are high enough so that the heat and humidity could still cause heat strokes and heat exhaustion. During any heat ’emergency’ the city said summer pools will be open longer, people without air conditioning at home will be encouraged to visit buildings where the climate is controlled and health workers will be prepared to deal with more calls than usual.

They are also encouraging people to drink plenty of water, to stay indoors in cool locations and to reduce physical activity and asking people to check in on the elderly or sick neighbours, especially those with chronic illnesses. Public Health, the Fire Department and other agencies have been creating maps of where people at risk are located and will check in on them during extreme heatwaves.

Here are some helpful tips to guide you through any extreme heat:

KEEP COOL – BE SMART

-If you have an air conditioner make sure it is operating properly. Fans as well. Otherwise, you can also head out to a place nearby, like a shopping mall, library and an indoor pool or even go see a movie inside an air-conditioned theatre where you can spend a few hours and cool off. Wear lightweight, cool clothing. You can also take a cool shower or bath. It can make a big difference.

– Prepare meals ahead of time so you do not have to use your oven. Buying some prepared meals can also help.

– Keep your windows covered with curtains or blinds during the day.

STAY HYDRATED!

-Drink plenty of water (or add some natural fruit juice to it) even if you do not feel thirsty to avoid the risk of dehydration.

– Eat fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Watermelon is a great option.

– MAKE SURE YOUR PETS have fresh water available at all times. Do not leave them outside for prolonged times, especially in direct sunlight. Do NOT leave them inside a parked car, even if it is just for a short period while you run in for some groceries.

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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