Press release

Preparing for summer weather

South and Central Coast, B.C. – Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued weather alerts for several parts of the province, including the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) regions, as we experience the first stretch of high temperatures of the season.

ECCC has issued special weather statements for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley; at this time, forecasted temperatures for these regions are below Heat Warning criteria in the BC Heat Alert Response System. 

ECCC has also issued Heat Warnings for the following areas within the VCH region:

  • Central Coast – inland sections are expecting daytime high temperatures near 30°C combined with overnight lows near 13°C are expected from Saturday until Tuesday night.
  • Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast are expecting daytime high temperatures in the low 30s with overnight lows near 16°C. 

An Extreme Heat Emergency in the BC Heat Alert Response System has not been issued. 

Medical Health Officers from Fraser Health and VCH encourage people to take steps to reduce heat-related risks, and emphasize water safety, as people seek to cool off in rivers, streams and at beaches throughout their regions.

Preparing for hot weather

The first high temperatures of the season can lead to some people overheating because they are not yet accustomed to warmer weather. There are some basic steps you can take to ensure you and your family remain safe and healthy during warmer temperatures. 

  • Identify a cooler space in your home and prepare it so you can stay there at night, if possible. You may need to change daily living arrangements; consider staying with friends or family.
  • Use awnings, shutters, blinds, or curtains over your windows to keep the sun out during the day.
  • Shut windows and close curtains or blinds during the heat of the day to block the sun and to prevent hotter outdoor air from coming inside. Open doors and windows when it is cooler outside to move that cooler air indoors.
  • If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works and use it to cool your home.
  • Use a thermometer to keep with you so you know when your home is getting too hot. Health risks due to heat can increase at indoor temperatures of 26°C and higher, and sustained indoor temperatures over 31°C can be unsafe.
  • If it is challenging to cool your home, find an air-conditioned space or shaded outdoor location close by where you can cool off. Consider places in your community to spend time such as libraries, community centres, movie theatres, shopping malls, or recreation spaces including the ocean, rivers or lakes. 

The BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) also has a broad range of heat-related information on its website, including information on the different types of heat alerts, how to prepare for warmer temperatures, symptoms of heat-related illnesses, those most at risk during warmer weather, and ways to stay cool.

Who is most at risk?

It is important to monitor yourself and family members, and to consider developing a check-in system for neighbours and friends who are at higher risk during warmer weather. The most susceptible individuals include:

  • Older adults
  • people who live alone
  • people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety
  • people with pre-existing health conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease)
  • people with substance use disorders
  • people with disabilities or limited mobility
  • people who are marginally housed
  • people who work in hot environments
  • people who are pregnant
  • infants and young children

Your health:

  • Stay in cool spaces as much as possible.
  • Spray your body down with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath, or sit with part of your body in water to cool down if you are feeling too hot.
  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even if you are not feeling thirsty.
  • Take it easy, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
  • When outdoors, stay in the shade and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
  • Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache, and dizziness. Take immediate action to cool down if you are overheating.
  • It is important to remember that overheating can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest, and use water to cool your body.
  • Signs of heat stroke include confusion, fainting or decreased consciousness, or high body temperatures that cannot be lowered.
  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency.

Water safety and beach water quality

The warmer weather will also cause rapid snow melt, leading to high rivers and streams throughout the province so please keep water safety in mind.

VCH and Fraser Health work with Metro Vancouver, local governments, and other agencies to monitor beach water quality throughout the swimming season. This includes the routine collection and testing of water samples for E. coli (an indicator of contamination with feces, a risk to health). The Beach Water Monitoring Program is based on the information in the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality. Beach water advisories and Information on the latest test results are mapped online at and

Where to get care

In the event of a medical emergency, British Columbians are advised to call 9-1-1. However, it is also important to use these systems responsibly to avoid overwhelming the system. Ahead of the busy summer months, BC Emergency Health Services in partnership with ECOMM, is reminding British Columbians to only dial 9-1-1 for serious or life-threatening injuries. 

When to call 9-1-1:

  • In general: when there is chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, severe burns, choking, convulsions that are not stopping, a drowning, a severe allergic reaction, a head injury, signs of a stroke, a major trauma.
  • More specifically related to hot weather: severe headache, confusion, unsteadiness, loss of thirst, nausea/vomiting, and dark or no urine are signs of dangerous heat-related illness.              

If you have a less urgent health issue:

  • You can call HealthLinkBC at 811 and speak with a nurse or go to an urgent care centre or clinic if you can do so safely. That way, our emergency medical dispatch staff and paramedics will be available for people who need their services the most.
  • In the Fraser Health region, call Fraser Health Virtual Care at 1-800-314-0999 to speak with a registered nurse from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven-days-a-week.
  • There are also online tools at including a “Check Your Symptoms” tool. 

More information can be found in B.C.’s Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide, and

For media inquiries, please contact:

Fraser Health Media Line: 604-613-0794

Vancouver Coastal Health
604.202.2012 (after-hours)