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EMO encourages public to stay safe; cool-down locations available: Hot Weather Alert Level 3A activated

For immediate release: July 23, 2019 - 12:05pm
FI19-575

In response to the high temperature and humidity this week, the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) has activated the Saskatoon Heat Response Strategy to support citizens in Saskatoon, especially those vulnerable to the heat.

EMO encourages members of the public to stay safe during this heat by visiting any of the designated cool-down locations throughout the city, including the lobbies of all City of Saskatoon Leisure Centres.

On a broader scale, in the event of a prolonged extreme heat event in Saskatoon, EMO could also activate notifynow targeted public safety messages to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens.

EMO is a member of the Heat Response Committee established by the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP). A variety of community partners rally to provide support to residents through the heat response strategy. A Hot Weather Alert Level 3A (Heat Warning) is issued by SHIP when temperatures reach 32°C or greater.

EMO also reminds citizens that this is an important time to check on vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbours.

Other things to consider during days of extreme heat:

River Safety

Although the South Saskatchewan River may provide a tempting option to cool down on hot days, EMO reminds residents that the river is unpredictable and that swimming in the river is prohibited. The river has many hazards including changing currents and an unstable bottom.

Pet Wellness

On warm summer days, it’s important to keep your pets safe and comfortable. Considerations include:

  • Ensuring your pet has plenty of fresh water to drink,
  • Monitoring your pet for signs of heat stress such as rapid panting, 
  • Never leaving pets in parked cars for any amount of time, and
  • Offering your pet a means to cool down such as a wading pool or damp towel.

For more information on how to keep your pet safe this summer, contact the SPCA or your local veterinarian.

Working Safe

As the humidex rises, those who work outdoors are encouraged to take necessary actions including:

  • Drinking extra water,
  • Increasing breaks out of the sun, and
  • Modifying work duties to prevent heat illness.

For safety tips and guidelines for employees working in hot conditions, visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s Working Outdoors page.

Transit Safe Bus Program

As always, Saskatoon Transit offers the Safe Bus Program designed to assist anyone, of any age, that needs immediate shelter or needs to contact emergency services. If you need help, simply and safely flag down a bus or go to a parked bus. Transit operators can contact emergency services directly through the on-bus radio system and will give the person in need a safe place to wait.

Smart Yard and Garden Watering

During heat waves, there is increased water usage. The City encourages residents to be water wise by watering your lawn and trees early in the morning and skip windy days to minimize evaporation. Smart watering helps the environment and can save you money during hot summer months. Follow these quick lawn care tips to be more efficient with your water and learn more ways to be water wise.

In the event of a leisure facility closure, the City will issue a service alert. Residents can find information regarding service alerts at saskatoon.ca/servicealerts. 

In an emergency, call 911 immediately.