VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – As we prepare for the first hot weekend of the summer, it’s also been one year since the start of the historic heat dome that rocked BC.
The record setting heat wave made people sweat across the western coast and spurred on one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent history.
The dome was responsible for the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Canada, with Lytton setting the record, hitting over 49 degrees. The previous record had been hit in Saskatchewan in 1937.
The BC Coroner’s service determined that the heat alone claimed the lives of 619 BCers.
Island Health says the heat we’re expecting for this weekend will not be as severe as the dome of last year, but you should be prepared nonetheless.
The health authority says that the first high temperatures of the season can lead to some people overheating because they are not yet acclimatized to warmer weather…
So they’ve given some tips on how to prepare yourself:
- Make sure that your air conditioning unit works and if you don’t have one, find a spot nearby that does where you can cool off on a hot day.
Close your curtains during the day to prevent the hot sun from beating through your window and open them at night to let more cool air in.
- They remind you to check in on the vulnerable people in your life on those hot days to be sure they are okay. That includes those over 60, people who live alone, young children, or anyone living with any sort of health issue.
As preventative measures, the Health Authority recommends drinking lots to stay hydrated and taking it easy during the hottest hours of the day. And if you feel you’re getting too hot, spray your body down with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower, or sit with part of your body in water to cool down.
In the event of a medical emergency, British Columbians are advised to call 9-1-1. However, it is also important to use 9-1-1 responsibly to avoid overwhelming the system,” Island Health says. ”[In hot weather, you should call 9-1-1 for] severe headache, confusion, unsteadiness, loss of thirst, nausea/vomiting, and dark urine or no urine are signs of dangerous heat-related illness.”
For less urgent issues they recommend calling 8-1-1 where you can connect with a nurse at HealthLinkBC.