The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton has called a Heat Warning effective for July 21st, 2016.

The heat criteria will be reached beginning Thursday and as before will be a 3-4 day event. Convection (showers and thunderstorms) may well develop during the heat event, but while briefly contributing to a temperature decrease, would only serve to increase the humidity once the showers ended. It is difficult to state exactly when the heat will end, but at this time we think that the warning should be over by the end of the weekend.

The City of Hamilton and participating community agencies are responding to the heat by offering “cool places” to go to during all 3 stages of a heat event. They can be identified by a “Cool Down Here” sign at their entrances, along with a heat meter sign, which indicates which stage we are at. As part of the heat response plan, the City’s outdoor pools will also have extended operating hours.

Risk of heat-related illness can be reduced by following these recommendations:
• Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on hot days.
• Go to an air-conditioned place. Visit a cool place such as a mall, public recreation centres, public libraries, and other City run air-conditioned facilities, etc.
• Dress to protect from the heat. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing. Wear a hat or take an umbrella to keep your head cool and don’t forget sunscreen.
• Take it easy. Limit physical activities (walking, running, gardening, etc.) during the day. If rescheduling activities to dawn or dusk when it may be cooler, protect yourself with insect repellent as mosquitoes are more active at such times. Check labels to apply.
• Cool off. Take a cool bath or shower.
• Keep your living space cool. Close your blinds or curtains. When the temperature is cooler outside than inside; open windows to let air circulate when using a fan.
• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.
• Check on your neighbours and family.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. If experiencing symptoms, seek help right away – call 911 if needed. For more information on how heat affects human health, see Health Canada’s website at:
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/healthy-living-vie-saine/environment-environnement/sun-soleil/heat-extreme-chaleur-eng.php

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