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‘Reach out to your neighbours’: Saskatoon EMO warns about hot weather

Click to play video: 'Outreach organizations in Saskatoon are preparing for a hot weekend' Outreach organizations in Saskatoon are preparing for a hot weekend
Saskatoon community outreach organizations are working to ensure Saskatoon's unsheltered population are supplied with a free bottle of water to stay hydrated. There are 70 organizations across Saskatoon where people can cool off including all Saskatoon Public Libraries. – Jul 29, 2022

The hot weather is back in Saskatoon, and while cool-down stations are opening back up, the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) wants you to check on your neighbours.

Director for Saskatoon’s EMO, Pamela Goulden-McLeod, said there are two groups they are focusing on, with the first group including Saskatoon’s unsheltered population.

“Last year in B.C. they had the heat dome there, and close to 600 people died there. And when they looked at where those deaths were and who died in that extreme heat, over 98 per cent lived indoors, but they were socially isolated, older adults, and they didn’t have air conditioning,” said Goulden-McLeod.

Read more: ‘Listen to your body’: London Health Sciences Centre urges awareness on heat-related illnesses

She added that your home can heat up and end up being hotter than it is outside.

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A full list of cooling stations are open across the city, but Goulden-McLeod said there are other ways for people to stay cool as well.

As part of Saskatoon’s 2022 Heat Response, cool down stations are being made available across the city. Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership

“There’s over 70 locations throughout Saskatoon where people can go to cool off. And that includes some of our local partner organizations like CUMFI, like Salvation Army, the Lighthouse, where individuals can go and get cooled off during the day,” Goulden-McLeod said.

“But also all of our Saskatoon Public Libraries are cooling locations, our paddling pools are a good place to go and cool your body off and sit in the water for a little while, or a spray park.”

Goulden-McLeod noted that organizations like the Saskatoon Fire Department are out handing out water bottles to anyone living on the street who needs one.

Read more: More B.C. weather records broken as heat wave continues to bake most of province

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She added that they are pushing for Saskatoon residents to reach out to neighbours who might be living alone, or are otherwise socially isolated.

“That’s where we’re really appealing to the people of Saskatoon, to reach out to your neighbours, to reach out to your relatives, your family, your friends, and just check on them. See if they’re doing OK,” added Goulden-McLeod.

“This really takes a whole community to all work together to mitigate this risk.”

Toby Esterby is the Chief Operations Officer with the Saskatoon Community Clinic, and said they distribute water throughout the summer for those in need.

“There’s a lot of people in this city who do not have readily available access to water, or shelter, or anything like that during the heat,” said Esterby.

“We want to make sure that we can continue to ensure just basic health on a daily basis.”

He added that people should have a plan how to stay cool and hydrated through hot days.

“We’ve gone through as many as 20 to 25 cases of water a day earlier in July when it was super hot. We actually ran out a few times, as did other organizations, because the heat was so intense, and it was for so long,” Esterby said.

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Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan said we are actually below the average currently for the number of hot days during the summer.

“So normally in a year Saskatoon sees 13 days in the 30s. This year we’ve only seen seven so far,” said Quinlan.

“Last year we broke a record; we saw in the low 30s, 31 to 32 days in the 30s, so we haven’t had anywhere close to as much heat as we would normally see in the summer so far.”

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Safety a concern following weekend rescues in South Saskatchewan River – Jul 19, 2022

 

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