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June 28, 2001
Heat Alert in Effect
The Medical Officer of Health is issuing a heat alert for Friday June 29, and
Saturday June 30, 2001. This is the first alert called under the new
Heat-Health Alert System.

The public is advised to "Beat the Heat" by taking these
  • Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
  • Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
  • Go to places that are air conditioned, including shopping malls, libraries, and community centres
  • Never leave children and pets unattended in a car
During a Heat Alert
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.

The most severe health effect of heat is heat stroke, when the body temperature
is greater than 40.6 degrees Celsius, with no sweating, and altered
consciousness or coma. Anyone who has difficulty breathing or feels confused or
disoriented should seek medical attention immediately.

During a Heat Alert, a Hot Weather Response Plan is activated. It includes the
  • 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 a 24 hour help line to answer heat-related inquires from the public and respond to requests to check on seniors at risk.
  • Red Cross and Out of the Cold will co-ordinate delivery of bottled water to libraries and community centres where vulnerable people may gather, and will provide transportation to a cool place if needed for the homeless.
  • Homeless shelters will allow people to stay inside during the day to keep cool.
During a heat alert, people can call the Red Cross HEAT INFORMATION
LINE 416-480-2615.

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