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New Brunswick begins 2018 heat alert, response system

Province of New Brunswick
Province of New Brunswick

“As heat events are becoming more frequent, it is important that we inform New Brunswickers so they can take appropriate precautions when necessary.” – Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Heat event surveillance have started across the province. If needed, alerts will be issued through the Heat Alert and Response System to inform New Brunswickers and community response partners when a heat event is coming.

“As heat events are becoming more frequent, it is important that we inform New Brunswickers so they can take appropriate precautions when necessary,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.

The heat alert system has three levels based on factors that characterize an extreme heat event: intensity, duration and nighttime exposure. These levels have been modified to align with evidence and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s new advisory system.

Regional offices of Public Health monitor meteorological alerting provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada to determine when it is necessary to issue a heat alert. The three levels are categorized as follows:

– Heat Alert – Level 1: humidex of 30 or greater with a nighttime low of 18 or greater for two days or more OR a humidex of 36 or greater for two days.

– High Heat Alert – Level 2: Level 1 criteria plus either of the two days reaches humidex of 40-44.

– Extreme Heat Alert – Level 3: Level 1 criteria plus either of the two days reaches humidex of 45 or greater.

Heat alert advisories for the various cities and regions will be issued on the Department of Health Twitter account, @NBHealth, and the provincial government’s Facebook page.

New Brunswickers are reminded to take the following actions to prevent heat stress during any level of heat alert:

– Drink plenty of cool fluids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.

– Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing.

– Keep the sun out with curtains or blinds.

– Plan outdoor activities around cooler parts of the day.

– Avoid exposure to the sun.

– Never leave someone or a pet in your care inside a parked car.

– Spend a few hours in a cool place or in an air-conditioned location (mall, library, church, shaded park or at a pool).

– Frequently visit a vulnerable family member or neighbour to make sure they are coping well.

– Avoid using the stove for cooking a meal.

– Take cool showers or baths until refreshed. Use your air conditioner if you have one.

– Make arrangements to spend time or sleep in a cooler place.

– Sprinkle clothing with water.

– Splash cool water on your face and back of neck.

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