With a record-breaking heat wave sweltering towns across the province, Interior Health is helping get word out to locals that there is a place to cool off for a few hours in the afternoon.
Trail United Church has opened up a cooling centre in the basement of the church at 1300 Pine Ave. in downtown Trail.
It is open from noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week for the foreseeable future.
The space offers a refuge for people who don’t have easy access to a safe, cool place in this extreme heat.
The church is looking for donations of water and volunteers to greet people at the cooling centre.
“We’ve had an incredible response from people donating,” organizer Marie Skinner told the Trail Times on Monday. “We could use a few more volunteers helping out to greet people at the door. The shifts are two hours, and we like to have people at the door in pairs.”
To help out at the Trail United Church cooling centre, or for more information, call Marie Skinner at 250.231.9003.
Interior Health warns of extreme heat alert
As heat continues to build in the Interior and is expected to last until Wednesday, record-high temperatures are expected with daytime highs ranging from 35 to 40 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows of 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.
High temperatures will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses and are historically associated with an increase in deaths among residents.
Excessive heat exposure can lead to weakness, disorientation and exhaustion.
In severe cases, it can also lead to heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. Heat stroke can be a life-threatening medical emergency.
Interior Health medical health officers advise at this time that risks from extreme heat exceed risks from COVID-19. While the extreme heat alert is in place:
· Cooling centres will be open coordinated by municipalities, and no one should be denied access to these centres because of concerns about crowding or physical distancing.
· If people are wearing a mask and have difficulty breathing, they should remove the mask, whether they are indoors or outside, as wearing a mask may impact thermal regulation during heat events.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but some people are at greater risk. Take extra care to check on the following people regularly:
· Infants and young children, who rely on adults to monitor their environments and to provide them with enough fluid to drink;
· People 65 years or older, or anyone who needs assistance monitoring their well being;
· People with heart problems and breathing difficulties;
· People who exercise or who work outside or in a hot environment.