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August 8, 2001
Heat Emergency for Toronto extended to Thursday
Toronto's two-day heat emergency called Tuesday has now been extended to
Thursday, August 9.

The four civic centres that extended their hours as part of the emergency will
continue to operate as cooling centres. The civic centres in York, East York
and North York will remain open tonight and Thursday evening until 7 p.m. Metro
Hall will stay open overnight today and tomorrow.

Heat Emergencies and Heat Alerts are called as part of Toronto Public Health's
Heat-Health Alert System, launched in June. The system helps predict when
weather conditions will have a negative impact on health. During a Heat
Emergency, there is a 90 per cent chance of increased deaths due to the heat.

The public is encouraged to call or visit friends and neighbours who are at
risk of suffering health consequences because of hot weather. People at
greatest risk include the elderly, infants and young children, the chronically
ill, and those taking medications (e.g., for mental illness).

Signs of heat illness include rapid breathing, headache, weakness or fainting,
confusion, and more tiredness than usual.

During a Heat Emergency (and Heat Alert), a Hot Weather Response Plan is
activated. It includes the following:
· Community Information Toronto will contact over 800 community agencies
working with vulnerable populations, such as elderly and isolated seniors and
the homeless, to advise them of extra precautions to take during a heat alert.
· Red Cross will operate an information line from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer
heat-related inquires from the public and respond to requests to check on those
at risk.
· Red Cross and Out of the Cold will co-ordinate delivery of bottled water to
agencies where vulnerable people may gather, and will provide transportation
to a cool place if needed.
· Homeless shelters will allow people to stay inside during the day to keep

During a heat emergency people can call the Red Cross HEAT INFORMATION LINE at

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