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How Manitobans can prepare for the heat warning

As a warm air mass settles over Manitoba, an expert is reminding people of the steps Manitobans can take to handle the increase in heat.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a heat warning, saying humidex values are expected to reach 38 C over the next two days.

Gordon Giesbrecht, an environmental ergonomics professor at the University of Manitoba, said hydration remains important for everyone.

“Our body normally responds to things quickly, we don't respond to lack of water quite quickly enough,” he said. “So by the time you get thirsty, you're probably behind the curve.

“We don't need to have eight litres of water, but just take a break every once in a while and drink some water, drink a cup or two, every hour or so.”

Giesbrecht said a sign of dehydration to be aware of is a lack of sweating, as it means the body doesn’t have enough water to give up. Another sign is feeling lightheaded or nauseous.

He says you should get that person out of the heat, and cool them off gradually, using a towel or soaked cotton clothing. Giesbrecht said people should be taken to hospital if they start showing symptoms of heat stroke, including headaches, dizziness and confusion.

People also need to keep a close eye on children during the heat, he said, saying it’s very easy to ignore warning signs of heat illness when having fun.

“Have them drink (water), have them take breaks in the shade,” Giesbrecht said.

Lisa Gilmour, the emergency management coordinator with the City of Winnipeg, says there are several options around the city to help deal with the heat.

The city has recently installed several hydration stations that are connected to fire hydrants and open 24/7. They’re located at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Central Park across from Knox Church and Selkirk Avenue and Powers Street.

City-owned spray pads have also opened up to the public, and Gilmour adds some cooling spaces will open up this weekend. The spaces are located in Bronx Park Community Centre, East Elmwood Community Centre, Luxton Community Centre, and Riverview Community Centre.

“We've got four great community centre partners who have stepped up and are going to open their doors as cooling spaces during the regular operating hours,” she said.

In addition, city-owned leisure centres and libraries are also available for people to come in and cool off during regular hours. More information is available on the city’s website.

ECCC said temperatures will begin to moderate next week. Top Stories

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