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July 23, 2001
Heat Alert in effect
  
The Medical Officer of Health is issuing a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23, and
Tuesday, July 24, 2001.

The public is advised to "beat the heat" by taking these
precautions:
  • 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
hotweather. 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
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 a help line from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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 (from 9 a.m. to 9
p.m.).


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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