B.C. heat wave raises concerns for seniors, people experiencing homelessness

Click to play video: 'Oppressive and dangerous heat has arrived across B.C.'
Oppressive and dangerous heat has arrived across B.C.
People are scrambling to find relief where they can. Kylie Stanton has more on the soaring temperatures, which won't break for days. – Jun 25, 2021

With record-breaking temperatures in the forecast, there are concerns about how a heat wave can impact vulnerable British Columbians.

Nadia Tchoumi with Union Gospel Mission says people experiencing homelessness are at risk during heat spells.

“There is the risk of dehydration with that prolonged exposure to the heat and to the sun,” Tchoumi said. “We’re also talking about a risk of heat exhaustion, even heat stroke.”

Click to play video: 'Stay hydrated: Tips on how to avoid heat related emergencies'
Stay hydrated: Tips on how to avoid heat related emergencies

Tchoumi notes that the COVID-19 pandemic can make it challenging for people to find a place where they can go inside and cool off.

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The mission’s drop-in facility is open for part of the afternoon to provide respite from the heat while an outreach team is distributing hats and sunscreen.

It is also teaming up with other organizations to operate two cooling tents in Abbotsford.

Click to play video: 'Challenges facing the homeless in extreme heat'
Challenges facing the homeless in extreme heat

The mission is accepting donations of items such as hats, sunscreen, shorts, T-shirts and other light clothing at its thrift store on East Hastings Street.

The BC Care Providers Association, meanwhile, is asking the community to look out for seniors in their community who are at higher risk of heat-related illness.

The City of Vancouver has a list of cool centres that will be open as well as information on ways residents and visitors can access drinking water around the city.

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— With files from Amy Judd

Click to play video: 'Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’'
Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’

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