Communities across BC are facing another
heat warning ahead of the August long weekend. The latest comes as many individuals are coping with the physical and emotional impacts of wildfires and evacuations, and air quality advisories.
The FNHA's Chief Medical Officer is reminding individuals that prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures – indoors or outdoors – can cause heat-related illness or heat stroke. The very young, very old, and people with health conditions are the most vulnerable.
Tips to protect yourself and others during a heat wave
If you see someone with
signs of heat-related illness, get them to a cool place immediately or apply cold water to their face and neck and call 8-1-1 for advice. If symptoms keep getting worse or a person is losing consciousness, call 9-1-1 or your nearest emergency services for help.
FNHA Heat Response Supports
When Environment Canada issues a heat warning, local governments may convert indoor public spaces to cooling stations. Examples include libraries, lodges and community centres. Visit a cooling station if you cannot stay cool enough at home. Contact your First Nation or band office or visit your municipal government website for locations.
Environmental Public Health Services can advise communities about setting up cooling stations, and may be able to offset the rental or purchase of air conditioning units or fans for Elders or others vulnerable to heat effects. (August 6 update: the FNHA is no longer accepting new requests for reimbursement for air conditioning units.)
Mental Health and Air Quality Supports
culturally-safe mental health supports available free to individuals who may be feeling overwhelmed.
The FNHA offers additional supports to First Nations communities affected by wildfires, including
air purifiers for those who are most vulnerable to the health effects of wildfire smoke. Individuals are asked to please contact their community health centre to request support.
Heat and Wildfire Risk
Extreme temperatures and lack of rainfall can increase the risk of wildfires. Call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on your cell phone to report a wildfire.