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August 1, 2002
Heat alert in effect today
The Medical Officer of Health is issuing a heat alert for today, Thursday,
August 1. This is the 11th heat alert of the summer.

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, community
centres and libraries
· 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

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, feels confused or disoriented should seek medical attention

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 the elderly, isolated seniors and
the homeless, to advise them of extra precautions to take during a heat alert.
· The 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.
· The Red Cross will co-ordinate the delivery of bottled water to agencies who
work with vulnerable populations, 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 alert, people can call the Red Cross' Heat Information Line at

Media Contact
Red Cross' Heat Information Line



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