Getting out of the heat for 30 minutes and staying hydrated can prevent leg cramps, heat exhaustion and even stroke. For many, avoiding the heat is as simple as staying inside with air conditioning. For those experiencing homelessness or low-income individuals who are elderly or unwell, that option may only be a dream.
During extreme weather conditions many Salvation Army locations help vulnerable people stay cool. For example, in Langley, B.C., The Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope provides water bottles, fans, sunscreen and new or gently-used hats. In Barrie, Ont., The Salvation Army’s Bayside Mission serves as a cooling centre outside usual hours. In Ottawa, Ont., The Salvation Army’s mobile outreach van provides assistance such as transportation to cooling centres, water and other supplies.
“As a result of climate change, Canada faces greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather,” says Major Rick Shirran, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Director. “When there is a heat alert, and where possible, The Salvation Army will continue to provide relevant services to help vulnerable citizens beat the heat and its dangers.”