During a Heat Warning, the public is encouraged to visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids. Other groups at risk include people with chronic illnesses, individuals with limited mobility or certain mental health illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications, and those who are homeless.
Members of the public are advised to beat the heat by taking these precautions:
• Drink lots of cool water even before you feel thirsty.
• Go to air-conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries or community centres located in each neighbourhood.
• Take cool showers or baths or use cool wet towels to cool down.
• Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and, when outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
• Avoid the sun and stay in the shade or use an umbrella.
• Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day.
• Never leave seniors, children or pets unattended in a car.
Air-conditioned shopping malls, and 170 local libraries and neighbourhood community centres are open to the public to provide relief from the heat. Additionally, seven cooling centres are open during Heat Warnings at the following locations:
• Metro Hall – 55 John St. (Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• East York Civic Centre – 850 Coxwell Ave. (Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• North York Civic Centre – 5100 Yonge St. (Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• Etobicoke Civic Centre – 399 The West Mall (Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; weekends: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
• Driftwood Community Centre – 4401 Jane St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days/week)
• McGregor Community Centre – 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days/week)
• Centennial Community Centre – 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days/week)
Vulnerable populations such as those individuals who are marginally housed or homeless can also seek shelter at air-conditioned drop-in centres across the city. More information is available athttp://bit.ly/2au1DBc.
Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for vulnerable residents to escape the heat. Community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check on those clients at increased risk of heat-related illness during warnings.
When a warning is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries may call 311. – CINEWS