6 deaths confirmed in connection to Montreal heat wave

View of Montreal's skyline. The Canadian Press / Mario Beauregard

Six people have been confirmed dead in relation to Montreal’s heat wave.

“Our main priority is to ensure the safety of all Montrealers,” said Mayor Valérie Plante during a press conference about the city’s plan to deal with the heat wave.

“So far, we have distributed 17,000 litres of water to community groups to help people in need.”

Doctor Mylène Drouin, Public Health director general of the Montreal region, explained the victims were described as “at risk”: those with chronic illness or mental-health problems, people who live alone and those who don’t have air conditioning.

READ MORE: Montreal heat wave prompts more calls to Urgences-Santé

As a preventative measure, first-responders will be knocking on doors in some of the city’s most vulnerable communities.

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“They will be visiting up to 5,000 people today and in the coming days to make sure everybody has a safe place to go,” said Plante.

READ MORE: Heat warnings issued by Environment Canada, MLHU ahead of sweltering long weekend

“There’s nothing like being a good neighbour and just looking at people around us. If you feel there’s an old neighbour on the side and you’re wondering if they’re safe, please go knock on the door and find out if the person is OK and needs any help.”

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Here are a few ways to avoid getting ill:

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  • Drink plenty of water, even before you feel thirsty
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Stay in the shade when possible
  • Cut back on activities that require effort
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen
  • Wear lightweight clothing preferably cotton to allow sweat evaporation
  • Elderly people should avoid going out, especially if they are on medication

If you think you are suffering from heat-related illness:

  • Seek shelter or a cool place, rest and drink water
  • If possible, use a fan to create air movement
  • Use blinds or shades to filter direct sunlight

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