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Here comes the heat. Please prepare and stay cool

(July 4, 2024) Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Nanaimo region with temperatures expected to reach 31 degrees Celsius through Monday, July 8, 2024. 

Certain groups of people are at greater risk of health impacts during extreme heat:

  • Older adults living alone or in isolation
  • People living with a disability
  • People with a chronic medical condition
  • People living alone
  • People who use substances, and
  • People who do not have access to air conditioning

People in these groups may be particularly vulnerable during extreme heat and may need help. Please check in on your family and neighbours, stay cautious in the heat and care for those around you.

See tips below for ways to stay cool, cool your home, symptoms to watch for, and other resources to help you through these warmer times.

For additional tips and advice, please visit:

Plan ahead for heat: 

  • Relocate to a cooler location if you are able to (see below for available City of Nanaimo locations).
  • Reconfigure the coolest location in your home so you can sleep there at night.
  • Put up external window covers to block the sun if you can safely do so.
  • Close your curtains and blinds.
  • Ensure digital thermometers have batteries.
  • Make ice and prepare jugs of cool water.
  • Keep windows closed between 10 am and 8 pm Open them at 8 pm to allow cooler air in, and use fans (including kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans) to move cooler air through the house.
  • Identify an extreme heat buddy who can check on you when it gets hot and who you can reach out for help.
  • Stay connected with your friends and neighbours - check on older people and those who are house-bound for signs of heat-related illness and pay attention to the media, Environment Canada, EmergencyInfoBC and Island Health for more information. 

More 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, a misting station at and join us for a swim at one of our pools or at Westwood Lake Park (lifeguards on duty until September 2, 11:30 am to 5:30 pm)
  • 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.
  • Visit us - our recreation facilities have air-conditioned lobbies and are a great place for a brief cool down.
  • Nanaimo's libraries and shopping centres offer air conditioned settings to cool down in as well.

Lobbies at the Recreation Centre Locations

  • Bowen Park Complex: 500 Bowen Road - Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm - Saturday, Sunday - Closed
  • Beban Social Centre - Sunday to Saturday 8:30 am to 8 pm
  • Nanaimo Ice Centre: 750 Third Street - Sunday to Saturday 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Oliver Woods Community Centre: 6000 Oliver Road - Sunday to Saturday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
All drop-in are welcome under the terms of the City of Nanaimo Facility Use Code of Conduct.

Vancouver Island Regional Library locations: 

  • Nanaimo Harbourfront (90 Commercial Street) - Monday to Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm to 4 pm
  • Nanaimo Wellington Branch (3200 North Island Highway - Monday to Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Friday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm to 4 pm
  • Nanaimo North (6250 Hammond Bay Road) - Monday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm.

Extreme Weather Supports for Unhoused Individuals:

The City and other service providers are working together to support community members by conducting wellness checks and distributing water. See our Services and Supports page for more information. 

According to Island Health, the signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, and dark urine.  If you experience these symptoms, you should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water rest and use water to cool your body.  Signs of heat stroke include loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion, severe nausea or vomiting and very dark urine or no urine. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. 

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, Colliery Dam Park 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. Find more information on how you can prevent wildfires by visiting

To register for Voyent Alert! visit the City's Emergency Call Alert page.

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