For those seeking relief from the during heat wave, the Regional District of Nanaimo is offering centres and recreational facilities to serve a cooling spaces.
There are several locations with cooling spaces in the regional district that are regularly open to the public. They include libraries, shopping centres and recreational facilities. A list of some of these locations can be found online at rdn.bc.ca/extreme-weather.
Oceanside Place Arena is open to the public seeking relief from the high temperatures during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. The facility will also be open outside of regular hours on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If the Environment Canada heat warning is extended to Sunday, Aug. 1, the facility will again be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Public access is available in the arena lobby where residents and visitors are welcome to have a seat as well as use the water bottle fill station and public washrooms. Refillable water bottles are recommended as the water fountains remain unavailable in accordance with COVID safety protocols and there is a limited supply of bottled water onsite.
To further assist the public during this heatwave, the RDN has provided bottled water to Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army to distribute to visitors to their soup kitchen at 187 Alberni Hwy and their food bank at 886 Wembley Rd., both located in Parksville. RDN Transit Road Support Agents also have bottled water in their operation vehicles and will offer water to anyone in need in the transit system.
Heat warnings are issued when daytime temperatures are above 29 C for two consecutive days and overnight temperatures remain above 16 C. Continued high temperatures put many vulnerable populations at risk of heat-related illnesses, including the elderly, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illness and people experiencing homelessness.
Residents are encouraged to check on neighbours and loved ones who may be unable to leave their homes or whose judgement may be impaired. Anyone living alone in the area can sign up for the Keeping in Touch program offered by Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers. Visit oceansidecsv.org/content/keeping-touch.
For more information and resources, please visit rdn.bc.ca/extreme-weather. For tips on heat safety as well as symptoms and treatment for heat-related illness, visit islandhealth.ca.
— NEWS Staff, submitted