As the humidity climbs, our ability to deal with the heat goes down. Many Canadians enjoy air-conditioned homes, access to pools and lots of drinking water. But for those less fortunate, the effects of hot temperatures can be dangerous. People at greatest risk of harmful effects from heat and smog include the elderly, infants and young children, the chronically ill and the homeless.
Across the country The Salvation Army helps people deal with the sweltering heat by sending its mobile canteens to the streets. Free bottled water is distributed to the homeless and anyone who needs it. In addition, ‘cool rooms’ (air-conditioned rooms) at its facilities are open for everyone. Here people can relax, have cold water and snacks.
“A lot of people are thirsty,” says one homeless man. “I carry a refillable bottle of water with me. But, finding enough water to drink on hot days can be a problem, too, because public water fountains are few and what is available are, many times, not working.”