SIMCOE, July 5, 2019 – With daytime maximum temperatures expected to rise into the low 30s with a humidex values near 40 expected this afternoon, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health is issuing a Heat Warning for the residents and visitors of Haldimand and Norfolk counties. A Heat Warning is issued when two consecutive days are forecasted to have a daytime high temperature of 31C or higher and a nighttime temperature of 20C or higher or when two consecutive days are forecasted to have a humidex 40C or higher. Hot and humid conditions are expected until Saturday. On Saturday, temperatures will remain near 30 with humidex values in the upper 30s; however with the passage of a cold front, cooler temperatures and lower humidity is expected for the remainder of the weekend.
The HNHU recommends that persons take steps to prevent heat-related illness. A list of local services offering a place to cool down can be found https://hnhu.org/alerts-advisories/weather-alerts/.
The HNHU recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:
- Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment
- Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
- Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.
- Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place.
- Block sun out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.
- If you must be outdoors, avoid sun exposure by staying in the shade; wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or use an umbrella.
- Plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day (the early morning or in the evening).
- Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
Staying outdoors during extreme heat events can lead to a heat stroke. A person experiencing heat stroke will have a high body temperature and appear confused, unconsciousness or have stopped sweating. Severe cases can lead to organ failure and death. If you suspect someone is experiencing a heat stroke call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, move the individual to a cool place, apply cold water to large areas of their skin and fan the person as much as possible.
The HNHU also recommends checking on neighbours, friends and family members, especially the elderly and those who are chronically ill, during heat events to make sure they are cool and hydrated.