Heat is on: Southern Alberta gets wrapped up in heat warnings

Click to play video: 'Calgary outdoor workers deal with hot temperatures' Calgary outdoor workers deal with hot temperatures
Calgary is in the midst of another heat wave. While some see this as a payoff for the long winters, others find the high temperatures not so enjoyable. Global’s Craig Momney chats with people working in the heat. – Aug 8, 2022

Keep the ballcap handy and the water nearby as southern Alberta is in for another heat wave.

Daytime temperatures are expected to range from 29 to 34 C on Monday. Though the heat should die down by dusk and be moderate on Tuesday, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said the heat is expected to pick back up on Wednesday.

ECCC issued a heat warning around 10:30 a.m. that included Calgary, Okotoks, High River, Claresholm, Brooks, Strathmore, Vulcan, Lethbridge, Taber, Milk River, Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Foremost, Medicine Hat, Bow Island and Suffield.

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Click to play video: 'Local expert talks impacts of heat/thermal stress on human health' Local expert talks impacts of heat/thermal stress on human health
Local expert talks impacts of heat/thermal stress on human health – Aug 8, 2022

Heat warnings are issued when high-temperature conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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To avoid getting ill in the heat, it’s recommended to:

  • Consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks from the heat, spending time in cooled indoor spaces where possible.
  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.
  • Check for your children or pets before you exit your vehicle. Do not leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle for any length of time.

Read more: Heat warnings continue across Canada amid scorching temperatures, humidity

ECCC also recommends monitoring for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting and unconsciousness.

“Pay particular attention to individuals that can experience earlier or more severe effects from heat including infants, children, seniors, and individuals with pre-existing lung, heart, kidney, nervous system, mental health or diabetic conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated,” a news release by ECCC stated.

The heat can be especially overwhelming for some outdoor workers. One industry that really feels the warmth of the summer months is roofing, and on warm days, workers are doing everything they can to keep themselves cool.

“It’s kind of impossible really to truly beat it — the sun is the champion,” said roofer Levi Goerzen. “You kind of just have to stay out of the sun, work for a couple of hours, rehydrate and make sure you’re getting lots of electrolytes.”

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“It can be cruel up there for sure,” added Rodney Gabrielson, owner of Akron Roofing.

“You have to listen to yourself and understand yourself and know your limits. You can get heatstroke and it’s easy to make a bad decision up there and the whole thing is to avoid putting yourself in that position.”

Cooling system repairs is another industry that sees a lot of sun. While air conditioning is one way many Calgarians stay cool, those who offer repairs, ironically, usually spend their days out in the heat.

“I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now and I’m always the guy to come fix the air conditioner,” said Bryce Ellert, owner of Furnace Fellas. “Right when we get it fixed, we have to go to the next one so we don’t get to enjoy it.”

Ellert said constant high temperatures have kept his business busy this summer.

“We’ve been all hands on deck,” he said. “My team’s been working overtime trying to get everyone’s AC installed so you can cool off.”


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