What is extreme heat?

An Extreme Heat Emergency is when daytime and nighttime temperatures get hotter every day and are well above seasonal norms.

Extreme heat is dangerous for the health and wellbeing of our communities and is responsible for the highest number of weather-related deaths annually.

In 2021 alone, the BC Coroners Service attributed 595 deaths to the extreme heat event that occurred between June 25 and July 1. Most of those deaths resulted from excessive indoor temperatures in private residences.

What you need to know

When it’s summer in Vancouver and the days get hotter, take steps to protect your health. Heat, especially extreme heat, can be harmful.

Make your emergency plan

Complete the fill-in-the-blanks emergency plan (PDF, 1.9MB). It records important information you’ll need to stay safe. It will also help you find out how to contact others if you get separated. 

Seniors may need to think about preparedness actions above and beyond the “basics”. Extra considerations include:

  • If you rely on a prescription, talk to your primary care provider about how to keep an extra supply or valid prescription in your emergency kit or grab-and-go bag
  • A whistle or personal alarm to call for help
  • Written instructions for special medical or mobility equipment
  • Extra eye glasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries
  • Spare footwear with any special orthotics

Most importantly, take time to create a trusted support network of at least three people to assist during an emergency. Give them keys to your home and add their contact information to a shared emergency plan. You should also advise members of your support network of any health conditions or medications, and show them how to operate specialized medical or mobility equipment.