During extreme heat, make sure your body temperature stays at a safe level. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that needs emergency first aid. Visit HealthLink BC for additional information.
You can protect yourself from extreme heat in a number of ways. If possible, access a cool, air-conditioned space while indoors. If not possible, take steps to lower your body temperature or cool your unit.
If you are at risk and you live in a building or residence that gets very hot, with inside temperatures of 31°C or higher, plan to go elsewhere during an Extreme Heat Emergency.
Do not rely on fans as your primary cooling method during an Extreme Heat Emergency.
Find a Cool Space
Does your building have a cooling room or common space where you can access relief from the heat?
If your building does not have a cooling room, there are a few ways you can find information about cooling spaces in your community:
- Find a cooling centre near you
- Visit EmergencyInfoBC (gov.bc.ca) - this may not include cooling centres for all communities
- Check the website and social media from your city/town or call them to see what is available in your community.
- Go to a place that offers air conditioning or is cooler:
- Local cinema
- Indoor shopping malls
- Community centres (may have air conditioning and act as cooling centres)
- Parks or other shaded green space
Tips to Beat the Heat
Cool Your Body
- Wear wet clothing to bring down your body temperature
- Use water-soaked cloths or cooling packs on your neck and wrists
- Sit in or put legs in a cool (not cold) bath
- Take a cool shower
- Drink water/cool liquids
- Drink before you feel thirsty - thirst is not the only indicator of dehydration
- Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine as they can lead to dehydration
Reduce Indoor Heat
During the Daytime:
- Cool living and working areas by closing windows
- Use window coverings
- Use air conditioners and misters
- Keep windows open
- Put a fan near window to bring in cool air
Protect Your Pets
- Provide shade and cool drinking water and baths
- Never leave pets unattended alone in cars or direct sunlight
- Plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of day. Note: asphalt might be can get too hot for bare paws
- Heat and Pets: Hot Weather Do's and Don'ts
- Heat and Pets: Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion
Avoid Sun Exposure
- Wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or use an umbrella
- Avoid or limiting strenuous activities during hottest part of the day
- Find shade if you need to be outside
- Use sunscreen
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Arabic)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Chinese Simplified)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Filipino)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (French)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Korean)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Kurdish)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Persian)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Punjabi)
- Tips to Beat the Heat - Poster (Spanish)
When to Seek Help
Review the Heat-Related Illness Factsheet or visit HealthLink BC to identify what symptoms to look for.
Some medical conditions and medications may increase vulnerability during hot weather. See a doctor if you are not feeling well. In a medical emergency call 911. For non-emergency health information and services call 811.
Check on Neighbours
Visit or call family, friends or neighbours when you can. Those who are isolated may be more vulnerable to extreme heat.