Phoenix Society is once again collection donations of water, sunscreen and gift cards to hand out and to distribute to partner agencies during this latest heat wave, and now an air-quality advisory.
In the last heat wave at the end of June, the community donated more than 4,500 bottles of water and monetary donations to help the homeless and at-risk community.
Phoenix is accepting donations at Phoenix Centre (13686 94A Ave.) or online at donate-can.keela.co/phoenix-society.
We need your help! We are seeking donations of water, sunscreen, gift cards at Phoenix Centre (13686 94A Ave).
Our staff are handing out water + gift cards for those suffering in this heat and we are a drop-off location for partner agencies.
— Phoenix Society (@Phoenix_Society) August 13, 2021
Meantime, Jonquil Hallgate, the local emergency weather response coordinator, said people can also email her at email@example.com for more information for donations in North Delta or White Rock.
Hallgate said it’s hard for everybody, even those “living in optimum conditions,” because of the smoke and heat.
This comes as Environment Canada has escalated the Lower Mainland’s heatwave warning to an “extreme heat alert,” and health authorities are advising the public to take necessary precautions.
High temperatures are forecasted from Aug. 13 to 15, with daytime highs from 32 to 35 degrees and overnight lows of 17 to 19 degrees. Humidex values during this period will reach the high 30s.
This type of heat is especially dangerous for the young and old, people exercising, and those with chronic heart and lung conditions, mental health conditions, and experiencing homelessness, the release says. People who take prescriptions are being advised to ask their doctors or pharmacists about increased risk.
The City of Surrey has a list of 30 civic facilities that people can visit to stay cool and seek relief from the smoke.
Hallgate noted the city has been trying to open up the facilities to get a bit of relief.
“I think everybody learned really quickly where the glitches in the system are.”
She there are more resources than there were a month ago, but it “still doesn’t meet the need of people who are suffering because of breathing problems.”
During the first heat wave, Surrey RCMP said officers responded to 59 sudden deaths reports that weekend while the BC Coroners Service said there were more than 700 deaths across the province during the same time.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said the number of deaths were three times the average reported in a typical week.
Because of the severity of the first wave, Hallgate thinks the seriousness of the heat and smoke has “finally hit home for people who didn’t have it on their radar in previous years and conditions.”
She said previously there would be “two or three really hot days and then that would be it and it would never get that hot again.”
– With files from Patrick Penner