Health Risks of Extreme Heat

The health risks associated with an extreme heat event range from the uncomfortable to the life threatening. However, all heat-related illnesses should be taken seriously and you should be aware of the symptoms. If you understand the health risks and can recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, the biggest help you provide might just be saving somebody's life.

People who are most at risk of serious side-effects, including death, from heat-related illnesses are infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, and people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.

Learn more about the impacts of  extreme heat on the North Shore Emergency Management's Extreme Weather page.


Before Extreme Heat

To prepare for an extreme heat event, try to do the following:

  • Install window air-conditioners snugly and insulate if necessary
  • If you have air-conditioning, check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers
  • Ensure that all at-risk members of your family are aware of risks associated with extreme heat

Tips for Dealing With Heat

Dress for Summer

Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-coloured clothing reflects heat and sunlight. Add a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (SPF 30+) if heading outdoors.

Cool Down

Spend time in air-conditioned spaces (e.g. shopping malls, movie theatres, public buildings, libraries, grocery stores and recreation centres). Electric fans will not prevent heat-related illness when the temperature climbs above 35 degrees Celsius.

Keep it Cool

Cover windows that get morning and afternoon sun with drapes and shades. Stay on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine, if air-conditioning is not available.

Slow Down

Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. If working outside in the heat, monitor coworkers and have them do the same for you.

Get Wet

Take a dip in one of the City's pools or head down to the beach for a swim but remember your sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and don't spend too long under the scorching sun.

Live in the Shadows

Try to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Walk leisurely along a forested trail or find a large-canopied tree to sit under with a good book.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure that you drink plenty of cold, alcohol-free, caffeine-free, and sugar-free liquids. Persons who have epilepsy, heart/kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets, or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.

Watch for Heat-Related Illness

Too much heat is a health risk. Learn more at HealthLink BC - Heat-Related Illness.

Tips to beat the heat

Ways to Keep Cool In The City

We have ways to keep help you stay cool located throughout the City.

Outdoor Misting Stations 

Outdoor temporary misting cooling stations are open at the following locations, Wednesday August 11 to Saturday August 14, typically 10am-8pm.

Water Fill Stations/Fountains

Get hydrated at locations all over the City, including popular locations listed below. View a map of all City water fill stations and fountains or download Metro Vancouver's Tap Map app.

  • Grand Boulevard Park (tennis court area, playground area) - 13th & Grand Boulevard
  • Mosquito Creek Park - 17th & Fell Avenue
  • Kings Mill Walk Park - Harbourside Place
  • Waterfront Park - 200 block West Esplanade
  • 14th Street Civic Plaza - 14th & Lonsdale
  • Stella Jo Dean Plaza - 147 East 14th
  • Victoria Park East at Lonsdale Avenue - Keith & Lonsdale
  • Derek Inman Park - 200 block East 1st, northside

Spray Parks

Seek Cool Spaces

  • North Vancouver City Library (120 14th West) is a designated Cooling Centre during this August heatwave, and is open extended hours until 8pm on August 13 & 14. Visit the library website for regular hours.
  • North Vancouver Recreation Centres are open to the public.

Extreme Heat & Pets

Extreme heat events are just as hard on our animal loved ones as they are on people. Here are some tips to help your critters beat the heat and remain happy, healthy, and alive:


During the hottest part of the day, make sure that your pet is resting comfortably in a cool part of the house with no exposure to direct sunlight. Conversely, don't walk or exercise your pet during the hottest times of the day. Just like people, extreme heat can be harmful or even fatal to our pets if they are overly exposed or pushed too hard.


It's vital to ensure that your pet has constant access to cool water. Dehydration can set in quickly if insufficient water is provided.

Like Master Like Pet

Just like people, pets can suffer, and even die, from many of the same heat-related illnesses, the most serious of which is heat stroke, but just like people, heat-related deaths and illnesses in pets can be 100% preventable if precautions are taken.

Leave Your Pets at Home

The temperature inside a vehicle can quickly climb to dangerous levels during an extreme heat event. Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle and do not be fooled into thinking that leaving the window cracked will help. It won't. Learn more about dogs in cars from the BC SPCA.


Get Help & Information

If you require emergency services, call 9-1-1 for police, fire and ambulance assistance.

You can also visit the following pages for specific information:

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