Summer is in full force, and British Columbia is experiencing an intense heat wave. For the third day in a row, numerous daily temperature records have been shattered.

Environment Canada reported that 37 heat records were broken, with temperatures in some locations surpassing 40°C. 

It is essential to prepare to stay cool and safe during these extreme temperatures.

Below, I am sharing some tips to help you stay cool and safe during these extreme heat waves.

Top Tips to Stay Cool and Safe During Extreme Heat Waves

Keep Cool and Hydrated

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of cool fluids, especially water. Avoid sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks.
  • Cool Down: Take cool baths or showers to lower your body temperature.
  • Wet Clothing: Wet your clothing during the day or your sheets at night.
  • Find Cool Spots: If you don’t have air conditioning, visit a local library, community center, or mall.
  • Buddy System: Have a buddy system and check on friends and family members who are elderly or have unique needs twice a day.

At Home

  • Monitor Indoor Temperatures: Heat risks increase at 26°C and significantly at 31°C. If you’re in an at-risk group and your home is above 31°C, consider staying with family or friends.
  • Block the Sun: Cover windows with drapes, shades, or awnings to block morning or afternoon sun.
  • Sleep Cool: Sleep in the coolest part of your home, usually the lowest level.
  • Wear Cool Clothes: Wear loose, natural fibre clothing that breathes well.
  • Limit Heat: Minimize stove or oven use.

Away From Home

  • Seek Shade: Spend time in shaded and breezy outdoor areas.
  • Stay Indoors: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Protect Yourself: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Dress Light: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.
  • Adjust Activities: Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities to the coolest part of the day.
  • Work Safely: If working outside, monitor co-workers and have them do the same for you.

Stay Connected

  • Buddy System: If you live alone, find an extreme heat buddy with whom you can check in on each other a few times a day.
  • Check on Vulnerable People: Check in on vulnerable family members in higher-risk groups, ideally in person.
  • Be a Good Neighbor: Check in on friends and neighbours.
  • Share Cool Spaces: If you have air conditioning, share it with others.

Caring For Pets

  • Never Leave Pets in Cars: Never leave pets in parked cars during hot temperatures.
  • Bring Pets Inside: Bring pets inside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Provide Water and Shade: Ensure outdoor pets have plenty of fresh water and shade.


List of cooling spaces in the North Shore

List of cooling spaces in Vancouver

Stay safe, everyone!