The City of Vernon is encouraging all residents, businesses and visitors to be cool.
Environment Canada issued a heat warning for the Okanagan Valley Wednesday, July 19, including Vernon. Over the next several days, Environment Canada is forecasting daytime highs to range between 35 to 38 degrees Celsius with overnight lows expected to be 18 degrees Celsius.
Interior Health recommends watching yourself and others for signs of heat-related illness and to take specific steps to stay cool and hydrated, including:
• Drink water regularly, before you start to feel thirsty;
• Seek shade or cool indoor locations, avoid direct mid-day sun;
• Wear loose protective clothing and a hat, sunscreen and UV-protective eyewear;
• Plan your outdoor activity before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m., to avoid the most intense sun, and take it slow with plenty of rest breaks;
• Never leave people or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise rapidly and become much hotter than the outside temperature;
• Cover windows during the day and open them in the evening if you can get a breeze through your home;
Use air conditioning (if available) to take the edge off the heat, but be careful not to over-cool your space
• If you don’t have air conditioning, seek shelter in the coolest room of your home and use a fan.
In addition, the city has made the following locations available for public access during regular operating hours, as a cooling zone:
- Public walking at Kal Tire Place (3445 43rd Ave)
- Vernon Aquatic and Recreation Centre (3310 37th Ave)
- Village Green Shopping Centre (4900 27th Street)
- Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon Branch (2800 30th Ave)
Greater Vernon Recreation is also hosting pop-up spray parks Monday to Friday, each week this summer. The location changes weekly so families can explore new park spaces.
Regularly check on relatives, friends and neighbours to see how they’re doing, particularly older adults, infants and children, those doing a lot of physical activity or working outside, and those with underlying health conditions.
If you are planning to spend time outside, remember to check the forecast, be prepared with safety items and plenty of water, and pay very close attention to your activities and the surrounding area.
With increased temperatures, the threat of wildfire can change quickly. If you see a wildfire, call the BC Wildfire Service at 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. If you see smoke or fire within Vernon, call 911 immediately.
More information on the cooling centres can be found at gvrec.ca.