Toronto has issued an extreme heat alert - that city's highest warning level to inform and protect vulnerable residents from the dangers of extreme heat. The high humidex is supposed to last until the weekend.
It is actually one degree hotter in Hamilton today than in Toronto. Temperatures according to environment Canada are supposed to reach 31° C on Thursday and 32° C on Friday in Hamilton, and 30° C on Thursday and 30° C on Friday in Toronto.
As of yesterday afternoon, Hamilton Public Health had no intention of issuing a heat advisory - the first part of the three part trigger system.
A heat advisory simply initiates a public information response sent to media outlets to inform people to be cautious about the dangers of extreme heat. It doesn't cost the City anything apart from the staff expense of dialing a fax number.
According to forecasts, Hamilton's humidex will reach 39. A heat advisory is issued at one day with a humidex of 40 or more.
Vulnerable populations at risk during periods of extreme heat include seniors, persons with disabilities, those who are taking medications affected by high heat, and individuals living in precarious housing with inadequate cooling.
Despite some very concrete recommendations coming from a recent report from the City's extreme heat response committee, many of those actions will not go into effect because Hamilton's trigger level is set too high.
Lynn Aquin, local advocate and member of the Community Heat Response Committee, recently asked Board of Health to lower the trigger threshold for issuing the heat advisory system. Staff are to report back to Board of Health.
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