Extreme Heat

The combination of high heat, high humidity and exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be hazardous to your health. It’s important to prepare for hot weather to help prevent heat-related illness and death.

Older adults, individuals with chronic conditions, children and infants are among those at a higher risk of suffering from heat-related illness.

What can you do to protect yourself and others from extreme heat?

Know the forecast

Prepare ahead of time: be on the lookout for heat warnings. You can find out when there’s a heat warning by following:



  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or juice before you feel thirsty.

  • Staying hydrated is critical during periods of high heat. Create ways to remind yourself to drink water. Remind others to stay hydrated.


  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat made of breathable fabric.

  • Apply cold water to skin using a damp or wet towel.

  • Take cool showers or baths

  • Avoid sun exposure. Tree-shaded areas can be as much as 5°C cooler than the surrounding area.

  • Visit Health Canada’s Extreme Heat webpage for more tips.


  • At home, close awnings, curtains, and blinds during the day to keep the sun out.

  • Make meals that do not use the oven

  • In the evening or at night (if safe), open windows to cool your home.


  • Re-schedule activities that may result in lining up outside in the sun (e.g. going to stores where there may be a line up outside) to a different day or a time of day that is cooler (morning or evening). Bring water and a hat with you if you do go out.

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities or reschedule for the early morning or evening hours. Stay hydrated.

  • Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

  • Before heading out, check the Air Quality Health Index in your area. Air pollution tends to be at higher levels during very hot days.

Help others

  • Call neighbours, friends and family, especially isolated older adults, to make sure they’re cool and remind them to stay hydrated.

For more information

Health Canada’s Extreme Heat webpage

BCCDC - Warm weather safety in a time of COVID-19