Multi-day heat warning issued for KFL&A region

Posted On Monday June 17, 2024

Multi-day heat warning issued for KFL&A region

Kingston — Environment Canada has issued a warning for a multi-day heat event that begins Monday and is expected to last most of the week for the City of Kingston and Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties. Maximum temperatures are expected to reach between 30ºC to 35ºC, with minimum temperatures falling between 18ºC to 23ºC, bringing little relief from the heat. Humidex values are expected to reach as high as 40ºC to 45ºC during the day and as low as 26ºC to 30ºC overnight. Hot and humid air can also bring deteriorating air quality and can result in the Air Quality Health Index approaching the high-risk category.

Conditions during high heat and humidity have the potential to cause dehydration and heat illnesses, which include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and heat cramps (muscle cramps).

Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include:

  • dizziness or fainting
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • extreme thirst
  • decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine 

If you experience any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.

A heat warning is issued by Environment Canada for the KFL&A area when the forecasted maximum temperature is expected to be greater than or equal to 31°C and the lowest night-time temperature is anticipated to be at or above 20°C for a period of two days or longer. A warning will also be issued if the anticipated humidex is 40°C or warmer for a period of two days or longer.

Humidex values describe how the hot and humid weather feels to the average person. It combines the temperature and humidity readings into one number to reflect the perceived temperature. The higher the humidex, the harder it is for perspiration to evaporate to cool the body.

During heat events everyone is at risk; however, the health risks are greatest for:

  • infants and young children
  • people who are pregnant
  • older adults
  • people who live alone
  • people with chronic medical conditions (for example, heart disease, respiratory conditions, those who are overweight or who have diabetes) or mental illnesses (for example, schizophrenia, depression, dementia)
  • people on certain types of medications (for example, for high blood pressure, for mental illnesses, etc.)
  • people experiencing homelessness, those who are underhoused or encounter other challenges in accessing cool spaces
  • people with limited mobility
  • people who exercise vigorously outdoors (play sports, cyclists, gardeners)
  • outdoor workers (depending upon length or time and exertion levels)
  • people who work in places where heat is emitted through industrial processes (for example, foundries, bakeries, dry cleaners)

If you or a loved one is at an increased risk for heat-related health risks, KFL&A Public Health recommends designating someone, a friend or neighbour, to do a wellness check on you or them throughout the duration of a heat event.

Being prepared is key to protecting communities from negative health impacts due to heat. Heat illnesses are preventable. KFL&A Public Health recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure, for example, sit under a tree, wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat, or use an umbrella.
  • Prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in your oven and block out sun by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.
  • Take breaks from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place; take cool showers.
  • Reschedule strenuous outdoor activity or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Prepare a basement, or cooler part of your home, for occupancy throughout and during the heat event. 
  • Block the sun out by closing awnings, curtains, or blinds during the day, especially on the westerly side of the home or building.
  • Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight. 

KFL&A Public Health encourages everyone to check on their neighbours, friends and family members, especially those who are chronically ill, and those at higher risk, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.

More information on protective measures can be found on KFL&A Public Health’s website.

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For more information contact: amazur@kflaph.ca