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Cooling centres ready in case a heat wave blasts Delta

City completes major update of its Heat Response Plan
beat the heat poster for Delta
Delta recently posted two Beat the Heat posters on its website, one of which lists locations of cooling centres where people can go if an extreme heat alert is declared.

The City of Delta is making it easier to find a place to stay chill this year, if it turns into a sweltering summer.

Delta recently posted two Beat the Heat posters on its website, one of which lists locations of cooling centres where people can go if an extreme heat alert is declared. See more at:

In total, there are 14 air-conditioned city rec centres and libraries where people can go to cool off if a heat warning is issued. As well, the city’s three indoor pools, two outdoor pools and three water parks give additional and more fun ways to beat the heat.

If it gets really hot, the heat warning can be upgraded to an extreme heat emergency, which will see the city activate 24-hour, pet friendly, cooling centres at Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre in North Delta, McKee Seniors Recreation Centre in Ladner and KinVillage Community Centre in Tsawwassen.

During the heat dome which hit in June 2021, Delta opened cooling centres in municipal buildings and libraries equipped with air conditioning, but none were open 24 hours a day.

According to the city’s new Heat Response Plan, just late last week, Environment and Climate Change Canada will issue a heat warning when temperatures in Delta are forecast to reach 29 C, for two more days in a row, with nightly lows not dropping below 16 C.

The B.C. Heat Committee, composed of provincial agencies, can also declare an extreme heat emergency when temperatures climb above heat warning level and there’s “high certainty” that temperatures will climb day over day, for three or more days.

During such emergencies, Delta’s seniors buses will be used to provide free transport to the 24-hour cooling centres.

The city’s Heat Response Plan has been completely updated so that it’s consistent with B.C.’s Heat Alert and Response System, said city manager Sean McGill in an emailed response to the Optimist.

The plan also requires setting up a hotline during heat events while the city’s Beat the Heat webpage has an interactive map of the cooling centre locations.

That webpage will be updated constantly during heat events, McGill added.

“Provincial agencies are working on a consistent response to extreme heat events and we anticipate announcements over the next several months as plans are formalized and mitigation strategies developed,” he said.

The Heat Response Plan also recognizes Delta’s varied geography, with Ladner and Tsawwassen being closer to the water and more rural, compared to North Delta which is more urban, with less green space and more concrete.

That could impact decisions during an extreme heat event, “as there may be need to be a greater emphasis on mitigation in North Delta,” the plan says.

A communications strategy is also part of the plan and includes using social media, the city’s webpage, posters, and reader boards and community message boards to get out information. 

Meanwhile, donations of hot weather supplies are needed in case the weather takes a turn for the city’s emergency shelters.

Sunscreen, bottled water, cooling packs, Gatorade, hats and spray bottles, coolers, granola bars, juice boxes, gift cards and Freezies are all needed so they can be distributed to homeless and vulnerable people.

The Homelessness Services Association of B.C. has put out the call for the supplies.

Shirley Baker, with the extreme weather response working group, said that supplies will be distributed by outreach workers who will be on the lookout for those struggling outside with high temperatures. The supplies will also be given out at the city’s cooling centres.

Two locations are accepting the donations; Ladner United Church, 4960 – 48th Ave., Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and New Hope Church, 11838 – 88th Ave., Tuesday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.