Did you know the Sturgeon region is one of the 10 hottest regions in Alberta?
Extreme heat can cause serious health impacts, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and possibly death.
Extreme heat affects everyone, but the following groups are at higher risk:
- older adults (60+)
- infants and young children
- people who are pregnant
- people with pre-existing medical and mental health conditions
- outdoor workers
- people with reduced mobility
- people who live alone or are socially isolated
- people who live in high-density housing with no indoor cooling
- people experiencing homelessness, or who are marginally housed
Before an Extreme Heat Event
Being prepared for extreme heat events means you have a plan and the supplies to stay cool, hydrated and informed.
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a household emergency plan.
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app for critical, life-saving alerts.
- Make a note if family, friends or neighbours are at a higher risk of heat illness or live alone, and plan to check in with them during an extreme heat event.
- If you live alone, see if a friend, family member or neighbour can check in with you during an extreme heat event, especially if you are at a greater risk of health impacts.
- Keep up to date on the local weather forecast.
- Keep plenty of food, cool drinks and your medication on hand so you can limit going out during extreme heat events.
- Make ice and prepare jugs of cool water in your fridge.
- Top up your vehicle fuel tank in case you need to drive to a cooler place.
- Install curtains, blinds or awnings in windows to deflect the heat. Keep them closed during the day. You can also cover windows with cardboard.
- If feasible, purchase items like fans and spray bottles to have on hand. Consider installing a window air conditioner in at least one room.
- Make sure air-conditioners and fans are working properly.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, prepare a list of the nearest air-conditioned spaces or cooling centres that accommodate your needs (wheelchair accessibility, children’s activities, pet accommodations, etc.). These can include shopping malls, libraries, swimming pools, community centres, places of worship, etc.
During an Extreme Heat Event
- Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty and eat hydrating foods such as fruits and fresh vegetables. Sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks cause dehydration.
- Prepare meals that don’t need to be heated, as using appliances will increase the indoor temperatures.
- If your home is too warm, consider leaving to stay with friends or family, or looking for public spaces with indoor cooling.
- Take cool showers or baths, or use a misting bottle.
- Identify cooler areas in your home, such as a basement, or one room that can be kept cool. Consider using that space to sleep.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully and take regular breaks.
- Lower your activity level and avoid strenuous activity during high heat.
- Avoid direct sun and rest often in shady areas.
- Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing that covers the skin, UV-protective sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Never leave people or pets alone in a vehicle or in direct sunlight.
Learn what symptoms to watch for in extreme heat events.