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Hot Weather Safety Guidelines: Homeless Shelters and Outreach Programs

The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:

During an Extreme Heat Alert

 

Advise people to:

  • Stay cool
  • Stay hydrated
  • Check on other homeless friends/neighbours

Follow Heat Alert Guidelines AND

  • Strongly suggest that the homeless seek cool shelter either at a shopping mall, library or known homeless shelter in the area.
  • Work with the local emergency medical system to get help for those exhibiting signs of heat illness.

During a Heat Alert

 
  • Keep cool
  • Stay hydrated
  • Check on friends and neighbours

Follow the General Guidelines AND

  • If possible, increase street patrols and mobile outreach during heat alerts.
  • If possible, provide or extend hours for cool spaces.
  • Inform and direct people to cooler locations, such as a shopping mall, library, recreational centre or shelter services.
  • If possible, provide plain water and light weight clothing.
  • If possible, provide bus tickets to homeless people trying to reach services/hostels.
     

General Recommendations

Haldimand Norfolk Shelter Operators:

  1. Please review your operating procedures related to hot weather.

Haldimand Norfolk Outreach Team:

  1. Be aware that children, seniors and those with chronic illnesses are most vulnerable. Some medical conditions and medications may increase sensitivity to the heat.
  2. Inform and direct people to services and agencies for the homeless through street patrols and mobile outreach.
  3. If possible, monitor people who refuse to take shelter.
  4. Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.

Adapted with permission from Peel Public Health