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B.C. report calls for co-ordinated heat-alert system to prevent to future deaths

BY The Canadian Press, Jun 7, 2022 9:18 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Dr. Jatinder Baidvan

Dr. Jatinder Baidvan

Dr. Jatinder Baidvan

A death-panel report from the BC Coroners Service makes several recommendations in response to the 619 heat-related deaths recorded last year as temperatures in parts of BC climbed above 40 degrees for more than a week.

The report says government and social agencies responded too slowly after the weather office issued heat warnings as temperatures soared at the end of June.

It says a heat-alert system is needed and the province has already announced plans for a two-step alert process that will release heat warnings in the same way Amber Alerts or tsunami warnings are issued now.

The report also says more must be learned about those most at risk for heat events, noting almost all the deaths last year happened indoors in poorly ventilated rooms, 67 per cent involved people over 70, more than half lived alone and many had chronic health or mental-health conditions.

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