Weather - Extreme Heat

Although BC's South Coast does not typically experience the same extreme summer heat as other regions of Canada, our summer temperatures can climb to dangerous highs. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are 100% preventable, yet many people get sick or die every year during periods of extreme heat.   

The District of Squamish encourages everyone to follow Vancouver Coastal Health’s hot weather tips below:
(additional tips courtesy cnv.org)

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Extreme Heat Tips

  • Keep cool
    • Spend at least several hours every day in an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant).

    • Use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool bath or shower.

    • At current temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying cool water mist or wet towels to your body prior to sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.

    • Dress for the weather by wearing loose, lightweight clothing. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

    • Keep your home cool. Open windows (ensuring children are not at risk of falling from them), close shades or blinds, use an air conditioner and prepare meals that do not require an oven.

    • Avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.

    • Avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour. Limit outdoor activity during the day to early morning and evening.

  • Stay hydrated
    • Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages (preferably water) irrespective of your activity intake. Don't wait until you are thirsty.

    • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of water you can drink while the weather is hot.

  • Check on others
    • People living alone are at high risk of severe heat related illness. Check in regularly with anyone who lives alone, particularly older people, those with mental illness and anyone else who is unable to leave their un-air conditioned homes, for signs of heat-related illness. 

    • Ask whether people know how to prevent heat-related illness and are taking precautions. 

    • If they are unwell, move them to a cool shady spot, help them get hydrated and call for medical assistance if required.

  • NEVER leave children or pets alone in a parked car.

    Temperatures can rise to 52°C (125°F) within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 34°C (93°F). Leaving the car windows slightly open or "cracked" will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.

  • Coping with poor air quality

    Increased temperatures are often accompanied by worsening air quality. Smog is a visible example of air pollution and most people know that smog levels increase during the hottest months. Aside from the visual displeasure that smog creates, summertime air pollution is also a serious health issue. Read on to find out more about what you can do to keep safe and to help minimize air pollution this summer.

    Air pollution can contribute to negative health effects ranging from increased respiratory symptoms to hospitalizations and premature deaths. According to health researchers, children, the elderly and people with a pre-existing cardiac or respiratory illness are most at risk. As the air quality deteriorates, you may consider reducing, rescheduling, or avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, especially if you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing or throat irritation.

    Residents are requested to reduce emissions to the atmosphere by minimizing the use of their automobiles and curtailing other activities which may lead to excess air emissions. For current air quality conditions, go to BC Air Quality.

  • Reducing the risk of interface fires

    Person-caused interface fires are always preventable. Person-caused interface fires are those related to carelessly discarded cigarettes, brush fires, construction, recreation, and arson. The risk of wildfires goes up when the temperature increases, so follow the tips below to minimize your chance of starting an interface fire this summer.

    • Campfires may be banned. Please check BC Wild Fire Status or BC Parks Fire Restrictions for more information.
    • Do not discard smoking materials from vehicles - use interior ashtrays
    • Lawn equipment should have properly working spark arresters to prevent sparks from exiting through the exhaust pipes
  • Stay informed

    There are many ways to stay informed during an extreme heat event, such as:

     Weather Conditions Links

  • Safety and Preparedness Links