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What to do during extreme heat

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Prepare for an emergencyDuring extreme heat

Calgary summers are getting increasingly hotter and drier. Extreme heat can put your health at risk, causing illnesses like heat stroke and even death.

Our Disaster Risk Explorer has information about the risk of disasters in Calgary and what the City is doing to prepare for it.

How to prepare for extreme heat

  • Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration.
  • Have cool drinks in your vehicle and keep your gas tank topped up.
  • Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle especially in direct sunlight.
    • Ensure pets have plenty of water.
  • Keep your home cool by closing curtains and blinds during the day.
    • If you have an air conditioner, make sure it is working properly.
    • If you have fans, they can help in low humidity.
    • Open windows overnight (if safe) to cool your home and close them during the day.
    • Avoid using your oven if possible, as it will heat up your home.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or others experience abnormal symptoms and watch for signs of serious medical conditions. Move immediately to a cool place and drink water if you experience any of these symptoms during hot weather:

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • rapid heartbeat or breathing
  • dehydration
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Staying safe during extreme heat

  • Avoid working or exercising intensely in the heat or humidity. If it cannot be avoided, be sure to take regular breaks, drink lots of water, maintain salt levels in your body and avoid high-protein foods.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Dress for the weather by wearing loose fitting clothes, a brimmed hat and UVA and UVB protected sunglasses.
  • If your home is too hot and uncomfortable, take cool showers or baths or go to an air conditioned public space, like a shopping mall.
  • Tune in regularly to local weather forecasts so you know when to take extra care
  • Check up on your family or friends who are alone and do not have air conditioning.
  • Hydrate and protect yourself and your family from heat‐related illness.

Health Canada has additional information about extreme heat as well as sunburns and heat illnesses.

After extreme heat

Refurbish and outfit your home for the next extreme heat season. A few potential upgrades include:

  • Adding drapes or shades to windows
  • Replacing or upgrading weather stripping around doors and windows
  • Adding insulation to keep the heat out
  • Installing an attic fan to clear hot air
  • Installing air conditioners
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