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June 25, 2003
Extreme Heat Alert extended through to tomorrow, Thursday, June 26
The Extreme Heat Alert declared yesterday by Toronto Public Health has been
extended to today, June 25 and through to tomorrow, Thursday, June 26.

Cooling centres will remain open at the following Civic Centres during the
Extreme Heat Alert: Etobicoke, East York, North York and Metro Hall. Metro Hall
will stay open overnight. The other three centres are open from 11 a.m. until 7

Red Cross will work with the City's Emergency Medical Services and city
agencies to bring people in immediate need of heat relief to one of the four
civic centres.

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 and libraries
* Never leave children and pets unattended in a car

During an Extreme 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, young children,
the chronically ill, and those taking certain medications (e.g., for mental

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. A person suffering from heat stroke experiences a high body
temperature (greater than 40 degrees Celsius), hot, dry skin, and dizziness or
confusion. Anyone who has difficulty breathing or feels confused or disoriented
should seek medical attention immediately.

The City's Hot Weather Response Plan remains activated during the Extreme Heat
* Community Information Toronto contacts over 900 community agencies working
with vulnerable populations to advise them of extra precautions to take during
a heat alert.
* Red Cross operates 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 will co-ordinate delivery of bottled water to agencies who work
with vulnerable populations, and will provide transportation to a cool place if

The Red Cross HEAT INFORMATION LINE is 416-480-2615.

Media contacts:
Toronto Public Health: Susan Sperling, 416-338-7974
Canadian Red Cross: Laura Byers, 416-480-0195, ext. 2253
Emergency Medical Services: Dean Shaddock, 416-370-9866
Shelter, Housing and Support: Rosemary Bennett, 416-392-8386,
cell, 416-328-4402



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