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As we move into hot weather, please be reminded to protect yourself from heat exhaustion.  The letter below outlines how to look after yourself and links to cooling centres.


Good Afternoon,

 As you may be aware, the Nanaimo Region is expecting hot weather starting this weekend and into early next week with highs reaching 31 degrees Celsius and lows overnight staying above 16 degrees Celsius – Environment Canada – Nanaimo

Just as a reminder, the City has been working with community partners on several options should we reach extreme heat thresholds over the summer.  Unlike the winter, our target population for extreme heat changes. Our target population is identified in the BC Coroner’s Heat Dome Report (2021).  Our focus populations for extreme heat are:

  • Low income renters
  • Older adults living alone or in isolation
  • People living with a disability
  • People with a chronic medical condition
  • People living alone
  • People who use substances

We have been working with colleagues at Island Health and Health Emergency Management BC and have co-created communication materials that are being  distributed to populations and neighbourhoods most at risk (as identified in the City’s Extreme Heat Mapping, Assessment and Planning Summary and Recommendations Report (2023). Communication content includes key messaging about who is at risk, how to stay cool in your home without air conditioning, and places where people can go to get cool. Materials will be distributed digitally to community partners, the City’s digital platforms, and print material will be available at City recreation facilities, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, doctor’s offices and through other Island Health services. We are just finalizing posters and handouts. Here’s a link to our City’s Beat the Heat Page:  Beat the Heat *this page will be updated on an ongoing basis as needed over the summer. Social media posts are also scheduled to go out over the weekend. 

 All that being said and as you are aware, we have also completed pre-season planning with community partners to determine responses for extreme heat events for the unhoused population.  Responses will be determined and implemented when funds become available from the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR) and are based on the following  extreme heat provincial thresholds.  These thresholds are:

  • Tier One - two or more consecutive days in which daytime maximum temperatures are expected to reach 29°C or warmer and nighttime minimum temperatures are not expected to fall below 16°C.
  • Tier Two - when the Province or Island Health has declared a regional health emergency that includes the City of Nanaimo and temperatures are expected to substantively increase day over day for three or more consecutive days. A tier two extreme event will only be triggered where there is significant acute risk to the health and safety of the public.

Historically, Tier One responses include conducting wellness checks through existing outreach teams (including the City’s Community Safety Officers), providing water and other cooling supplies where available, and encouraging people to shelter in shaded or riparian areas.  We usually access EMCR funds when available so all outreach teams can have access to water for distribution. In addition, community agencies have provided the City with a listing of where individuals can access existing day use spaces as cooling centres during their regular program hours. You can find that listing here:  Supports and Services for Homeless  (please note that the Supports and Services Page is always updated with the latest available information all year round and will include emergency weather responses in winter or summer for the unsheltered population).  We also list all the washrooms, drinking water and misting stations on this page. Environment Canada has not issued a heat warning however we anticipate meeting Tier One thresholds and have submitted a request to EMCR to purchase water.  We are waiting for this authorization.  If you would like to access water to distribute through your existing outreach programs, please email Barry Hornby and he can make arrangements to get you some water –  

Should we reach Tier Two levels over the summer and Public Health declares a health emergency, the City will work with Health and Community Partners to identify any new additional cooling spaces and/or support our community partners to expand hours for day use space by accessing EMCR funds.

Thank you,


Christy Wood (she/her)

Manager, Social Planning | Public Safety Department | City of Nanaimo

o. 250.755.4430  | c. 250-714-4807 |

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