Climate change is leading to higher summer temperatures and hotter days in Pitt Meadows. This can cause Heat Warnings and Extreme Heat Emergencies that are dangerous to public health and wellbeing. There are many steps you can take in advance to prepare for heat events. The City’s Emergency Program is also prepared to ensure Pitt Meadows residents are comfortable should an Extreme Heat Warning come into effect during the summer.

Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide

Preparing for hot weather

Create an Emergency Plan

Assess your home and evaluate whether you can safely stay in your home during an Extreme Heat Emergency. Create a plan to check in on vulnerable friends, family, and neighbours. Determine your home’s coolest rooms and consider modifications to support staying in that area during a heat event. Identify places in your community where you can visit to stay cool, including libraries, malls, recreation centres, movie theatres, and shaded outdoor spaces. Don’t forget to consider your pets in all emergency planning.

Prepare your home

Indoor environments without air conditioning can become dangerously hot and typically reach peak temperatures later in the day. Keep in mind that temperatures between 26 and 31 degrees Celsius may pose a risk to the some susceptible people, and sustained exposure to temperatures over 31 degrees Celsius should be avoided whenever possible.

Here are some tips to keep your home cool:

  • Install heat pumps or air conditioners
  • Use shading, thermal curtains, or window coverings on external windows
  • Close shades and blinds to block the sun
  • Close windows during the day (10 am to 8 pm) and open them up at night
  • Use multiple fans to help move cool air in and hot air out overnight
  • Increase tree coverage on your property if possible

During an Extreme Heat Emergency

Stay Cool

  • Seek cooler spaces like malls, libraries, recreation centres with air conditioning
  • Take a cool shower or place feet in buckets of cold water
  • Wear a wet shirt or apply a damp towel to skin, especially the neck area
  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids
  • Wear loose fitting, light-coloured clothing and hats, and avoid strenuous activities
  • Do not rely on fans as your primary cooling method, they cannot effectively reduce body temperatures
  • Monitor indoor temperature and check in on susceptible individuals
  • Watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Heat impacts some people more than others. People over 65, with health conditions, who use substances, are on certain medications, are pregnant, or young children may need extra care.

Neighbour Check-ins

During hot weather, arrange to check on vulnerable neighbours, friends, and family members several times a day, especially in the evening. Community members can help increase outreach to heat-vulnerable people who live outside of healthcare or community care settings and may not be connected to support services.

If you know someone in your neighbourhood who lives alone or who is elderly or disabled, plan a plan to check on them during heat events. 

Air Quality and Heat Events

During hot weather, air quality may be affected by a high concentration of ozone or particulate matter, especially if there are wildfires burning nearby. Heat and pollution affect your body in different ways, and may compound the effects of both for some people. Overall, heat poses a greater risk than smoke for most people, so prioritize staying cool if needed.

What the City will do during an Extreme Heat Emergency

The City’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) is prepared to ensure Pitt Meadows residents are safe and comfortable in the event of an Extreme Heat Emergency. The criteria for Fraser Health Authority to declare an Extreme Heat Emergency is temperatures over 29 degrees with the forecast indicating daily highs that will substantively increase day over day for 3 or more consecutive days.

In the event of an ESS Activation for emergency weather events, information will be posted to the City website and social media, including the Emergency Alerts section and Notices. You may also receive emergency alerts via smartphone from the Government of BC.

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