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News Releases

Heat Alert Issued for Sarnia-Lambton

This page was reviewed or revised on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:33 AM

Sarnia, ON – A HEAT ALERT has been issued for Sarnia-Lambton by the Medical Officer of Health for Lambton County on Tuesday, July 17th based on the latest Environment Canada forecast. The alert will remain in effect until tomorrow when temperatures are expected to ease.

The heat alert is due to a combination of high temperatures and humidity that will affect Sarnia-Lambton today. It is expected to be 37° C with a humidex value reaching 45.

Who is at risk?

While the heat affects everyone, health risks are greatest for older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses, people working outdoors, people active outdoors, and low-income earners and the homeless.
If taking medication for a health condition, talk with your health-care provider or pharmacist about the increased health risks in extreme heat; follow their recommendations.

Heat-related Illnesses are preventable, but can lead to long-term health problems, even death.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness. It develops after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate replacement of fluids. Symptoms include heavy sweating, cool, moist skin, paleness and a fast, weak pulse. Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and muscle cramps may indicate heat exhaustion.

Heatstroke is very dangerous. It occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature, and core body temperature rises rapidly. Symptoms include complete or partial loss of consciousness or confusion, dizziness, headache, nausea, high body temperature, red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), and a strong, rapid pulse. If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

While waiting for help, cool the person immediately by moving them to a cool place or shade, apply cool, not cold, water to large areas of the skin or clothing, and fan the person as much as possible. Drinking water is best.

 Community Health Services advises local agencies and organizations working with high-risk individuals to recognize the risks and advise clients to take precautions. Everyone is encouraged to frequently visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially the chronically ill, to ensure they are cool and hydrated.

Preventing Heat-related illness:

  • Limit time outdoors between 11 a.m.-4 p.m., when the sun is most intense.
  • Drink lots of water and natural juices, even if you do not feel thirsty. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoid heavy meals, and using your oven.
  • Avoid the sun or heat when possible. If you must go out, stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • If you do not have air conditioning in your home, go to the mall, library or recreational facility such as a cooling centre location.
  • If you cannot access an air-conditioned facility, take a cool, not cold, shower or bath. Keep curtains or blinds drawn during the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothes. When outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Avoid intense or moderately-intense physical activity.
  • Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your medication and increased health risks in extreme heat.
  • Check on children, seniors, persons with disabilities and individuals with chronic illness. Make sure they are well hydrated and have no signs of heat-related illness.
  • Never leave anyone, including pets, in a closed, parked vehicle. Pets need access to a cool place and fresh water.
  • Use fans to draw cool air at night; do not rely on a fan as the primary cooling devise during extended periods of excessive heat.

In addition to malls, libraries, recreation centres and other similar facilities, the following cooling centre locations are available:

Cooling Centre Locations offer short-term, accessible, air-conditioned space for the public to seek relief from the heat. They are open during normal hours of operation, below.

Sarnia:
West Lambton Community Health Centre
429 Exmouth St., Sarnia
Monday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed weekends

The Inn of the Good Shepherd
115 John St., Sarnia
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed weekends

Good Shepherd's Lodge
950 Confederation St., Sarnia
Every day: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

St. Clair Township:
Moore Sports Complex
1166 Emily St., Mooretown
Monday-Friday: 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 12 (noon)-4 p.m.

Lambton Shores:
Forest - The Shores Recreation Centre
7883 Amtelecom Parkway, Forest
Every day: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Thedford - Legacy (Community) Centre
16 Allen St., Thedford
Every day: 8:30 a.m.-4:30p.m.

Petrolia:
Oil Heritage District Community Centre
360 Tank St., Petrolia
Monday-Friday: 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Dawn-Euphemia:
Dawn-Euphemia Municipal Office
4591 Lambton Line, Rutherford
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed weekends

Brooke-Alvinston:
Brooke-Alvinston Municipal Office
3236 River St., Alvinston
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed weekends

These locations are not required to offer additional services. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not permitted.

For more information, call Community Health Services at 519 383-8331 ext. 3601, toll free 1-800-667-1839 or visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.

For more information about Lambton County, visit www.lambtononline.ca.
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Contact:

Paul Buttery
Environmental Health Specialist
County of Lambton
Telephone: 519 383-8331 ext. 3601
email: paul.buttery@county-lambton.on.ca