EMERGENCY ALERTS FOR EXTREME HEAT COULD SAVE LIVES, EXPERTS SAY

Jul 20, 2022

By Christine Ross

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Experts say sending emergency alerts during extreme heat events could save lives but that a multi-faceted warning is needed to reach the most vulnerable residents like seniors and the homeless.

Blair Feltmate with the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, says the provinces and territories should develop a similar heat alert system to the one launched in British Columbia to warn of potentially deadly temperatures.

It’s an idea supported by University of Toronto professor Dr. Samantha Green who spoke with Fight Back’s Libby Znaimer on Zoomer Radio.

“Currently in Ontario we do have regulations about minimum temperatures during the winter but we need to set a new bar for maximum temperatures in the summer so that landlords are held responsible in some of these settings like long term care facilities where 40 % don’t have air conditioning and that’s of course a risk for residents with chronic conditions but it’s also a risk for the workers.”

Experts says the vulnerable population should be checked on during heat waves to ensure they have working fans or an air conditioner, that they’re properly hydrated, or whether they need help getting to a cooling centre.

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