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City Opens Cooling Centre at Western Financial Place During Heat Warning

July 27, 2022

Cranbrook, BC (Wednesday, July 27, 2022) – With an ongoing Heat Warning in the East Kootenay, the City of Cranbrook is assisting residents, visitors, and those most vulnerable in the community by operating Western Financial Place as the City of Cranbrook’s official cooling centre.

Western Financial Place will be open during regular operating hours but will be available to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. as a cooling centre, with water and snacks available.

The Cranbrook Public Library is also acting as a cooling centre from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

On Tuesday, Environment Canada issued a Heat Warning for the majority of British Columbia, with daytime high temperatures ranging from 35 to 41 degrees Celsius and morning low temperatures ranging from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius.

Interior Health advises that anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but some people are at greater risk.

Take extra care to check on the following people regularly:

  • Infants and young children, who rely on adults to monitor their environments and to provide them with enough fluid to drink;
  • People 65 years or older, or anyone who needs assistance monitoring their wellbeing;
  • People with heart problems and breathing difficulties;
  • People who exercise or who work outside or in a hot environment.

The symptoms of heat-related illness can range from mild to severe. They include:

  • Pale, cool, moist skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rash
  • Swelling, especially hands and feet
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Light headedness and/or fainting
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

More severe symptoms – including high fever, hallucinations, seizures, and unconsciousness – require urgent medical attention. Call 911, move to a cool place, and cool the person with water and fanning.

Be sure to take steps to avoid heat related illness like:

  • Plan your outdoor activity before 11:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m., to avoid the most intense sun.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Water is the best choice.
  • Avoid physical work or exercise outside in the heat of the day.
  • If you must work or exercise outside, drink two to four cups of water each hour, even before you feel thirsty.
  • Rest breaks are important and should be taken in the shade.
  • Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn but remember this does not protect from the heat.
  • Stay in the shade, or create your own shade with lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing, a wide brimmed hat, and/or an umbrella.
  • If you are struggling to keep cool, move indoors to an air-conditioned building or take a cool bath or shower. At temperatures above 30° C (86°F), fans alone may not be able to prevent heat related illness.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise to 52° C (125° F) within 20 minutes inside a vehicle when the outside temperature is 34° C (93° F). Leaving the car windows slightly open will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.
  • Regularly check older adults, infants, and children, those doing a lot of physical activity or working outside, and people with chronic disease or mental illness for signs of heat-related illness. Make sure they are keeping cool and drinking plenty of fluids. Check on those who are unable to leave their homes, and people whose judgment may be impaired.

Visit the Interior Health website on health-related information for extreme heat at: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/Emergency/ExtremeHeat/Pages/default.aspx