Heat Exposure Affects Everyone
When temperatures rise, it's important to be aware of the dangers heat can bring.
The Comox Valley Emergency Program (CVEP) supports regional hazard planning and coordination (which includes extreme weather events such as heat emergencies) and works closely with municipal partners City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, and K’ómoks First Nation. Together we are guided by recommedations from the BC HEAT committee, the Provincial Health Leads for extreme heat events in British Columbia.
Members – Regional Heat Planning Team
- Black Creek Community Centre
- Coalition to End Homelessness (advisory capacity)
- Comox Valley Fire Services
- Comox Valley Regional District
- City of Courtenay
- K’ómoks First Nation
- Town of Comox
- Village of Cumberland
An Extreme Heat Emergency is when daytime and nighttime temperatures get hotter every day and are well above seasonal norms. These incidents are classified as a health emergency where direction is provided through Island Health and the BC HEAT Committee.
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.
When temperatures begin to rise, it's important to understand and mitigate the risks associated with excessive heat.
Symptoms can be mild to severe, and can include:
- Pale, cool, moist skin
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Swelling, especially on hands and feet
- Fatigue and weakness
- Lightheadedness and/or fainting
- Nausea and/or vomiting
More severe symptoms – including high fever, hallucinations, seizures and unconsciousness – require urgent medical attention. Call 911, move to a cool place, and cool the person with water and fanning.
Remember to Stay Hydrated
Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar, as these are less helpful in keeping your body hydrated.
Check On Your Neighbours
Download our PDF poster to encourage everyone to check on their neighbours and loved ones. You're helping a community who may be at high risk of heat illness and dehydration.