City of Calgary and privately run facilities are opening up their doors for all those needing to cool down from the ongoing heat-wave.
Environment Canada issued a heat warning for the city, stating that temperatures could range from 29 degrees Celsius, to the mid 30s. The agency has forecast continuing high temperatures throughout the weekend, including Heritage Day.
Calgary’s Dashmesh Culture Centre is one of the privately run facilities is offering shelter for anyone needing to get out of the sun. It is located in the community of Martindale in the city’s northeast.
“We have a longer haul, it’s a community kitchen—usually open to anyone anytime. We serve vegetarian meals seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” said Raj Sidhu, director of operations at the Dashmesh Culture Centre.
“In the basement level, we set up a refreshments and seating area for anyone wanting to escape the heat, get a cold refreshment, get off their feet, and just sit in an air-conditioned environment for as long as they need,” he said.
The Dashmesh Culture Centre is a Sikh cultural centre built for that religious and cultural community to gather.
According to Sidhu, helping in this initiative is important because of the concept of security in Sikhism.
“It allows us to help anyone anytime. It’s our religious and cultural duty to help and support people, and this is our duty right now during the heatwave,” he said.
Heat warnings issued for elevated risk of heat stroke, exhaustion
Heat warnings are issued by Environment Canada when hot temperature conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
The Hussaini Association of Calgary is also opening its doors for Calgarians during the heat wave from 2 pm on, daily. It is located just south of the community of Dover on 46 Avenue SE and 34 Street NE.
President of the association, Syed Safdar Shujah, said the heat wave is a reminder of the thirst and heat that Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, experienced during the battle of Karbala.
Serving water and refreshments is one of the ways that commemoration is being held by Shia Muslims from July 30 to the end of September.
“We want to help out our community members regardless of their faith, culture and/or background in any situation needed,” said Shujah.
“We are obliged and humbled to offer our community members a place to cool down, and some water to drink,” he said.
The City of Calgary’s leisure centres and libraries are also locations suggested by the City as cooling spots for people to use. The hours of operations are available for these facilities on the City of Calgary created map.
The city also has a number of wading pools, splash parks, and outdoor pools for Calgarians looking to escape the heat outdoors.
City of Calgary tips on how to prepare for extreme heat
- Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration.
- Have cool drinks in your vehicle and keep your gas tank topped up.
- Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle especially in direct sunlight.
- Ensure pets have plenty of water.
- Keep your home cool by closing curtains and blinds during the day.
- If you have an air conditioner, make sure it is working properly.
- If you have fans, they can help in low humidity.
- Open windows overnight (if safe) to cool your home and close them during the day.
- Avoid using your oven, if possible, as it will heat up your home.
City of Calgary tips on staying safe during extreme heat
- Avoid working or exercising intensely in the heat or humidity. If it cannot be avoided, be sure to take regular breaks, drink lots of water, maintain salt levels in your body and avoid high-protein foods.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Dress for the weather by wearing loose fitting clothes, a brimmed hat and UVA and UVB protected sunglasses.
- If your home is too hot and uncomfortable, take cool showers or baths or go to an air-conditioned public space, like a shopping mall.
- Tune in regularly to local weather forecasts so you know when to take extra care.
- Check up on your family or friends who are alone and do not have air conditioning.
- Hydrate and protect yourself and your family from heat‐related illness.