August 16, 2:00 p.m. – Cooling Centres Open During Heat Wave
Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Metro Vancouver this Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18.
Free daily drop-in cooling centres are available at:
The Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre Lobby, located at 12027 Harris Road
Pitt Meadows Library, located at 200-12099 Harris Road
Pitt Meadows Arena, located at 11435 Bonson Road
Pitt Meadows Seniors Centre, located at 19065 119B Ave
You can also stay cool at the Harris Road Outdoor Pool & Spray Park, located at 12460 Harris Road.
Please check each facility’s webpage for their updated hours of operation.
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.
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
- 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.
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.