During heat events, it is important to check in on friends, family and neighbours.

  • For guidance on how to check in on others, please see the Fraser Health/Vancouver Coastal Health Guidance document for community organizations and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health guide for checking on others, in person or remotely, during extreme heat events.
  • People living alone are at high risk of severe heat-related illness. Check in regularly for signs of heat-related illness amongst those who live alone, particularly older people, those with mental illness or those who are unable to leave their homes that do not have air conditioners.
  • Contact friends, family or neighbours if you will be checking on them or vice versa. Create a buddy system where you check in with each other twice a day.
  • Some of the people, including seniors, most susceptible to severe heat-related illness and death may not perceive that they are getting too hot. Check on them in person to evaluate the temperature indoors; if you can only check in on them by phone, ask them to tell you what it says on their thermostat. Persistent indoor temperatures over 31 degrees Celsius can be high risk.
    • If they are experiencing high temperatures and are not able to cool themselves, ask to take them to a nearby cooling shelter if available.
  • Advise those in your care that a cool or tepid bath can help, as well as a legs-only bath for those with mobility issues or those who may require assistance.
  • If you are a caregiver, keep a close eye on those in your care by visiting them at least twice a day, and ask yourself these questions:
    • Are they drinking enough water?
    • Do they have access to air conditioning?
    • Do they know how to keep cool?
    • Do they show any signs of heat stress?
  • Check with your local municipality about cooling centres for those who need them. If needed, offer to transport people in your care.
  • If someone seems unwell due to extreme heat, move them to a cool shady spot, help them get hydrated, sponge or spray with cool water, fan the person, and call for medical assistance if required.