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Province launches heat event alert system

The B.C. government has launched a new alert system to inform the public of any heat emergencies.

This comes after almost 600 people died in B.C. last year from heat-related deaths.

Provincial officials say they are also bringing in additional measures to bolster B.C.’s ambulance system in response to heat emergencies.

“Last summer’s unprecedented heat dome tragically resulted in hundreds of fatalities, making it clear we need to do more to be better prepared for future extreme heat events,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General in a release.

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“We’ve developed a new heat framework so we’re ready for the next heat event, and we are ready to issue broadcast intrusive alerts for extreme heat emergencies to ensure people are aware.”

In the event of an emergency, the government will issue alerts through the national public alerting system and Alert Ready which is already used for tsunami, wildfire and flood warnings and Amber alerts.

“It’s vital that we take the lessons we learned from last year’s devastating heat dome to make sure that the province and our health-care system are as prepared and resilient as possible during extreme heat,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in a release.

“The new heat alert and response system and actions we’re taking to strengthen the ambulance system and emergency care will help ensure people across B.C. are safe during future heat waves.”

The province has also created a new extreme heat preparedness guide to give information on how to stay safe.

It involves stuff like taking cold showers, going to cooling centres and drinking plenty of water.

MORE: Heat Preparedness Guide (B.C. government)

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