Keep Cool This Summer

Effective July 3, 2021, an extreme weather advisory has been issued for all of Manitoba.

Manitoba summers are hot and can experience up to 16 hours of sunlight daily. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures and UV rays can have serious health implications including heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke and sunburn. Prevention of dehydration is important.

In Winnipeg, cooling stations have been set up in City Hall and at some community centres. According to CBC, ‘Anishiative, Main Street Project and CommUnity 204 opened up a centre this week at 44 Martha St.

The city has opened up the main floor of city hall as a cooling centre and set up a tent with water in Central Park.

The city has also partnered with several community centres in Winnipeg to act as neighbourhood cooling sites. They include Westdale Community Centre, Valley Gardens Community Club, South Transcona Community Centre and Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre

It’s also deployed drinking water tanks to the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Spence Neighbourhood Association, the Salvation Army on Henry Avenue and Bear Clan Patrol‘s headquarters on Selkirk Avenue.

All libraries will also have bottled water available during regular hours.’

In Brandon, Samaritan House will be open Sat and Sun from 12 noon – 3 pm and will have water and encourages those who don’t have a place to cool off to come and stay safe from the heat.

For all other Municipalities in Manitoba, check with your local municipal offices, mostly online for information about cooling centres.

The best way to avoid a heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors during hot days. Here are a few recommendations for keeping cool this summer:

  1. Drink lots of water
  2. Reduce outdoor activities at hottest times of the day
  3. Seek spaces that are sheltered from the Sun
  4. Stay indoors
      • Close windows and blinds during the hottest part of the day and open windows and blinds when it is cooler in the evening.
      • If you are looking for indoor spaces to beat the heat, consider checking out your local public library, shopping mall or recreation centre.

    Please note that during the ongoing pandemic, many of these services may not be available. Be sure to call ahead for details.

    • Some recreation centres can offer indoor activities such as card games, bingo, or art classes. To find a recreation program nearby select the “Older Adults” topic area followed by “Recreation” or click here.
    • To find a youth recreation program nearby, select the “Youth”topic area followed by “Recreation” or click here.
    • Many Senior Resource Councils offer Friendly Visiting or Daily Call services to help check in on vulnerable seniors during these hot spells. Click here for a list of Councils on our site.
  5. Cool off at your community pool
    • Cool off at your community pool or spray pad. For an up-to-date list of city of Winnipeg spray pads, click here. For an up-to-date list of Brandon spray pads, click here.

Preventing heat related illnesses can be especially challenging for people who are homeless or precariously sheltered. For this reason, End Homelessness Winnipeg has issued its Extreme Weather Response Plan for 2021 when temperatures rise in Winnipeg. For a list of programs that provide services during extreme weather conditions, click here.

To learn more about the effects of extreme heat, please visit Manitoba Health’s Heat and Your Health website.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect someone is experiencing a heat related illness, call 911 immediately.

Image and content taken from the End Homeless Winnipeg Extreme Heat Response Plan and the Manitoba Health Heat and Your Healthwebsite.