While this weeks heat wave might be a pleasure to Maple Ridge residents with houses to go back to, and pools to swim in, it raises a series of concerns for those who lack shelter.
The city’s homeless are at increased risk for heatstroke and dehydration as the temperature creeps towards 30 Celsius.
Due to the heat-absorbing properties of the concrete jungle, the ‘urban heat island’ effect can make it seem much hotter.
While most readers are familiar with hypothermia, when the body’s temperature drops too low, hyperthermia, where core temperature raises above an acceptable limit, can be just as dangerous.
Cooling by sweating can be insufficient for un-housed people, and those who do not drink enough water can quickly see their temperature reach threatening levels.
If unchecked, damage to organs, and the brain, can be deadly.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries will not be offering cooling stations for the second year in a row.
Executive director Mark Stewart said the organization, instead, will send a van out with bottled water to ensure its clients stay hydrated.
He also mentioned their headquarters at 22188 Lougheed Hwy will be available for those that need shelter.
“People can come into our building, we have air conditioning,” he said. “And we’ll be doing rounds around our building, handing out water.”
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