Feel good about your information and become a local news champion today

Extreme weather safety is a top priority during City of Calgary summer programs

From extreme heat to heavy rainstorms and hail, Calgary’s weather can be rather unpredictable in the summer.

Extreme weather can affect various outdoor programs, such as the ones hosted by the City of Calgary.

Many of these programs, such as summer day camps, play programs, and sports lessons are hosted outside.

When the weather affects these programs, parents can be left to wonder how the city responds to the weather, and what precautions the staff take to protect their children.

Calgary parent Tracy Ross told LWC she wanted more communication on how the city responds.

“As parents, how do we know what happens when it suddenly storms during the day, or when the temperature can get too hot for our kids? We send them to these programs prepared with food and water, but what if the water runs out? I don’t know if they provide that,” she said.

“What’s their plan if another hailstorm suddenly comes down? That information isn’t readily available.”

How the city responds

The city of Calgary says that many of these programs are heavily reliant on weather, so if a forecast is not desirable, the program is canceled for the day.

“Staff regularly check forecasts and watch for signs that are related to inclement weather, such as thunderstorms, rain, and extreme heat. Responses can change based on location, and access to amenities, such as buildings and/ or shelters. Decisions may also be made prior to an activity start time due to inclement weather, such as a high Air Quality Health Index rating or ongoing storms,” they said via email response.

“Updates for the activities can be found on Calgary.ca or any of our various social media.”

The city does have established guidelines and response plans for weather changes, but this information is not publicly available on the city’s website.

“In hotter weather we have staff take several precautions, including staying hydrated with frequent water breaks, taking breaks in the shade, adjusting activities to be lower energy, and if possible, introducing activities that promote cooler temperatures, such as water games. Access to water is available at our staffed activities,” they said.

“If the weather changed suddenly during an activity in progress, supervising staff works with staff on location to respond based on the location, available options, and the safest situation. Participant and staff safety is our first priority.”

Activities may be adapted to the weather when possible.

For outdoor activities such as Park n’ Play, participants are registered, which requires the parent/guardian’s emergency contact information.

If any problematic situations were to occur, the appropriate people will be contacted.