In New Brunswick, as the summer temperatures rise, Environment Canada will issue a Humidex value. Humidex values represent the effect that high humidity and high temperatures will have on the human body. The District Medical Officer of Health uses information from Environment Canada to issue Heat Alerts to advise the public that conditions may result in health effects.
In Fredericton, three alert levels may be issued. Each level signals when health risks from extreme heat are increased and what public responses and actions are needed.
When a Heat Alert (Level 1) is issued, it is mainly the most vulnerable persons that are affected. The main cause of illness and death during a heat wave is the aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. News releases will be issued to warn the public, and health and humanitarian organizations of the heat event. Organizations participating in the alert system will then make contact with vulnerable individuals.
When a High Heat Alert (Level 2) is called, everyone is at risk of heat stress and heat stroke under the conditions. At this alert level, news releases will be issued by the various participating organizations and by the City of Fredericton. An alert will be posted on the Weather Network Channel and the participating health and humanitarian organizations will increase their activity in order to protect vulnerable individuals.
During an Extreme Heat Alert (Level 3) everyone is at high risk for heat related illnesses and heat stroke. To prevent heat illnesses take immediate actions to stay cool and hydrated. News releases will be issued, an alert will be posted on the Weather Network Channel, and the participating humanitarian and health organizations will increase their activity to further protect vulnerable individuals. First responder care will be initiated and cooling shelters may be opened.
Pay attention this summer to the Weather Network channel, local media outlets and the web for heat alerts.