Extreme Heat Events

Health Information

Current Heat Warnings

Notifications for extreme heat events are issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada and are available through:

Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat can cause health issues ranging from mild to very serious if your body temperature gets too high. Some heat-related illnesses like heat stroke can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Check your symptoms if you think you may have a heat-related illness. For emergencies, visit your nearest local emergency department or call 911.

People at greater risk of heat-related illnesses include:

  • Older adults
  • Infants and young children
  • People who are pregnant
  • People with pre-existing medical or mental health conditions
  • People who live alone or are socially isolated
  • People with no access to indoor cooling

Seek immediate medical attention for anyone with heat stroke symptoms:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsion (seizure)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion, restlessness or anxiety
  • Fast heart rate
  • Skin that may be red, hot and dry (sweating has stopped)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

While awaiting medical attention:

  • Move the person to a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
  • Remove unnecessary clothing and place the person on their side to expose as much skin surface to the air as possible.
  • Cool the person’s body by sponging or spraying cold water and fanning them.
  • Apply ice packs to the neck, armpits and groin.

During Extreme Heat Events

Take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones during extreme heat events.

Check on family, friends or neighbours, especially those that are older, have mental illnesses, have chronic health conditions or live alone. Refer to the Health Checks Guide for more information on in-person or remote health checks during extreme heat events.

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.

Stay cool indoors:

  • Use an air conditioner if you have it.
  • Identify areas of your home that stay the coolest. Plan to sleep or spend most of your time in these areas.
  • Indoor temperatures above 26°C increase chances of heat-related illnesses for at-risk people. When indoor temperatures go above 31°C, the risks increase even more.
  • Visit family, friends or public buildings with air conditioning if you need a place to cool down.
  • Help keep your home cool by installing window coverings or cardboard to keep out the sun.
  • Open windows when it’s cooler outside than inside.
  • Take a cool shower or bath to help keep your body cool.
  • Use a fan to help you feel more comfortable if the room temperature is below 35°C.
  • Avoid using appliances like stoves and ovens that create heat indoors.

Stay cool outdoors:

  • Check the weather forecast and try to reschedule physical or outdoor activities to cooler parts of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks in shaded areas.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it 15 minutes before going outside and reapply frequently.
  • Wear light-coloured, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Do not leave people or pets inside a closed vehicle, ever.

When extreme heat and wildfire smoke events occur simultaneously, health risks from heat are more dangerous. Keeping cool should always be your priority. Read more about combined wildfire smoke and heat risks.

Learn more about extreme heat and ways you can protect yourself and others at www.alberta.ca/extremeheat.