Heat Alerts & Heat-Related Illness

Heat Alert
July 22, 2016 - 12:27pm

The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton has extended the Heat Warning issued July 20, 2016.

The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton has extended the Heat Warning issued July 20, 2016. An Extended Heat Warning is issued when hot weather conditions are expected to last three or more consecutive days with daytime highs greater than or equal to 31°C and nighttime lows greater then or equal to 20°C OR Humidex of 40°C or greater. 

Current details

An extended period of hot and humid weather will continue today and persist into the weekend. High temperatures are expected to reach or exceed 33°C today with accompanying humidex values of over 40°C also anticipated.

For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/heat.

Alert
July 21, 2016 - 12:31pm

Hamilton Fire Department Issues Open Air Burning Ban - July 21, 2016

HAMILTON, ON – July 21, 2016 – Due to current dry weather conditions coupled with the continued forecast of extreme temperatures with no appreciable rain in the near future, the Hamilton Fire Department has issued an immediate ban on all open air burning in the City of Hamilton.  This ban suspends all approved Open Air Burning Permits.

More information and details about the ban.

The City of Hamilton’s Heat Alert and Response System, also known as H.A.R.S., includes seasonal monitoring and three response stages. From May to September, we monitor weather forecasts, including the humidex for conditions that can increase health risks. 

Extreme heat puts everyone at risk of heat-related illnesses. People at increased risk include those age 65 and older, young children, people with chronic medical conditions and people who work outdoors. It is important to take necessary steps to protect yourself and your family during extreme heat events. Throughout the summer please pay attention to the radio, TV, local newspaper and social media for Public Health Services heat advisories, warnings or extended warnings, and what to do in each case.

Response stages

The three response stages and their triggers are:

Stage 1 Heat Advisory - one day with a forecasted temperature of 31 C or more and humidex of 40 or more.
Stage 2 Heat Warning - two or more consecutive days with daytime highs greater than or equal to 31C AND nighttime lows greater then or equal to 20C OR Humidex of 40C or greater.
Stage 3 Extended Heat Warning - three or more consecutive days with daytime highs greater than or equal to 31C and nighttime lows greater then or equal to 20C OR Humidex of 40C or greater


Places for residents to cool off

During a Heat Event various City of Hamilton and community sites are open for residents to go to cool off depending on the Heat Stage called: 

During a Heat Advisory, the following places are open for residents to go to cool off. Check what hours they are open before you go.

City of Hamilton sites

Community sites 

Extreme heat can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death. Take precautions to reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses. See below for ways you can reduce your risk.

During a Heat Warning, the following places are open for residents to cool off. Check what hours they are open before you go.

City of Hamilton sites

Regularly scheduled public, family, adult and senior swims are free of charge at City of Hamilton indoor and outdoor pools.

Pool capacity limits are in effect during a Heat Event. We may use swim rotations, depending on line-ups at each pool (i.e., people can swim for one hour only, and the next group of people can swim for one hour).

Other City of Hamilton sites

Community sites 

Summer Supie programs

Summer Supie programs in Hamilton parks will operate 9 am to 12 noon, Monday to Thursday during a Stage 2 Heat Warning.

Free drinking water

The Salvation Army gives out bottled water between 10 am and 2 pm at Gore Park during a Heat Event.

Extreme heat can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death. Take precautions to reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses. See below for ways you can reduce your risk.

During an Extended Heat Warning, the following places are open for residents to cool off.  Check what hours they are open before you go.

City of Hamilton sites

Regularly scheduled public, family, adult and senior swims are free of charge at City of Hamilton indoor and outdoor pools.

Pool capacity limits are in effect during a Heat Event.  We may use swim rotations, depending on line-ups at each pool (i.e., people can swim for one hour only, and the next group of people can swim for one hour).

Other City of Hamilton sites

Community sites 

Summer Supie programs 

We close Summer Supie programs during a stage 3 Extended Heat Warning.

Free drinking water

The Salvation Army gives out bottled water between 10 am and 2 pm at Gore Park during a Heat Event.

Prepare for the heat

What you can do to prepare for the heat before it arrives:

  • If you take medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about how your medication affects your risk for heat-related illness.
  • If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works properly. If you have ceiling fans or other fans, they can help as long as the temperature is not too high.
  • Talk to family, neighbours and friends and make a plan for visits on hot days. Visitors can see signs of heat-related illness that could be missed over the phone. Make plans to visit air-conditioned places such as a mall, library or community centre during heat events. Even a few hours every day in air conditioning will help.
  • During warm weather, check local weather forecasts so you know when to take extra care.

Extreme heat can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. If you are experiencing symptoms, get help right away – call 911 if you need help.

Reducing your risk of heat-releated illness

Take precautions to reduce your risk of heat-related illness such as:

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Going to an air-conditioned place such as your home, the mall, library or community centres.  See a list of City of Hamilton and community sites with air conditioning open to residents.
  • Wearing a hat and loose-fitting, lightweight clothes
  • Taking a bath or shower with cool water or if this is not possible, running cool water over your wrists or putting your arms or feet in cool water
  • Closing your blinds or curtains
  • Opening your windows to let air circulate while using a fan, only if the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air
  • Limiting physical activity during the day
  • Having cold meals to eat
  • Cooking outside instead of turning on the stove
  • Calling your doctor if you have heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea and/or vomiting

Never leave pets or children alone in closed vehicles, especially when it is hot outside.

Help others by checking on your neighbours and family to make sure they are OK.

Information about what to do to reduce your risk of heat-related illness is available in the following languages: