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June 8, 2004
Media Advisory: Heat Alert issued for Toronto
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto's Acting Medical Officer of Health, has issued the
summer's first heat alert for today, Tuesday, June 8.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Associate Medical Officer of Health, will host a media
briefing to outline the City's Hot Weather Response Plan. Dean Shaddock,
Co-ordinator, Community Medicine Program, Emergency Medical Services, and a
representative of the Canadian Red Cross will join Dr. Henry to answer media

Date: Today, Tuesday, June 8
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: 277 Victoria St., Room 502

The first hot weather of the year can be difficult for vulnerable populations
who have not yet adjusted to the heat. Those most at risk include the elderly,
infants and young children, the chronically ill, and those taking medications
(e.g., for mental illness). The public is encouraged to call or visit family or
neighbours who may be at risk.

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 a Heat Alert, a Hot Weather Response Plan is activated. It includes the
· Community Information Toronto will contact more than 1100 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.
· 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 deliver bottled water to agencies where vulnerable people
may gather.
· Toronto Emergency Medical Services will respond to requests to check on those
at risk.
· Homeless shelters will allow people to stay inside during the day to keep

During a heat alert, call the Red Cross Heat Information Line at

Media contacts:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974
Dean Shaddock, Emergency Medical Services, 416-338-0473
Joanna King, Canadian Red Cross, 416-480-2500



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