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Residents advised to take precautions during heat wave

Aug 10, 2021, 08:44 AM

(Updated, August 9, 2021)

The City is advising residents to prepare for an upcoming period of hot weather expected to hit Nanaimo this week. It is especially important for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and those working or exercising outdoors to take precautions during heat waves.

Here are some tips to stay cool:

  • Stay hydrated - drink cold beverages, preferably free of alcohol, caffeine and sugar. Here is an online map of drinking water fountain locations where you can fill up a water bottle.
  • Dress appropriately- avoid dark colours and heavy layers. Wear a hat, loose fitting clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen when heading outdoors.
  • Cool down - we are fortunate to be surrounded by many water sources from the Salish Sea to lakes and streams. Check out the Parks search app for some swimming gems in Nanaimo. Please make sure to practice water safety principles in and around water and, especially in high flowing rivers. In addition, the City has four water parks for kids to enjoy and misting stations have been set up in Maffeo Sutton Park and Beban Park
  • Visit us - our recreation facilities (Bowen Complex, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Oliver Woods Community Centre) offer air conditioned lobbies for a brief cool down and we have drop-in public swimming and skating sessions available (pre-registration required).
  • Slow down - avoid strenuous activities.
  • Look for shade - avoid direct exposure to the sun. The City has wide range of parks and open spaces to get some shade.
  • Avoid hot cars - never leave your children or pets in a hot car.
  • Stay connected with your friends and neighbours - check on older people and those who are house-bound for signs of heat-related illness.

Extreme Weather Supports for Vulnerable Populations
In anticipation of extended extreme heat this week, the City and other service providers have taken various actions to support community members including those who are homeless.Visit the Services and Support page for more information and location of cooling centres.

According to Island Health, the following is a list of symptoms of heat-related illness to watch out for:

  • pale, cool, moist skin; 
  • heavy sweating; 
  • muscle cramps; 
  • rash; 
  • swelling, especially hands and feet; 
  • fatigue and weakness; 
  • dizziness and/or fainting; 
  • headache; nausea and/or vomiting; 
  • fever, particularly a core body temperature of 40° C (104° F) or more; 
  • confusion and decreased mental alertness; 
  • hallucinations; red, hot, dry skin (in the late stages of heat stroke); 
  • seizures; and 
  • unconsciousness/coma.

For more information on heat-related illness, visit Health Link BC or dial 811.

Keep Pets Cool
Make sure to keep your furry friends cool in hot temperatures. Here are some tips from the BC SPCA on summer pet safety. Dogs can also cool off in a designated off-leash area where there is access to the water such as the Cable Bay Trail and Invermere Beach.

Be FireSmart
The risk of wildfires goes up as the temperature goes up. Residents are also advised to ensure all smoking materials are properly extinguished, don't throw lit cigarettes or other smoking materials out the car window and smoking is not permitted in any City park or on City trails. 

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