Smoky skies looking south along 152nd Street on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. There is an air quality advisory in effect across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Smoky skies looking south along 152nd Street on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. There is an air quality advisory in effect across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Donations of water, sunscreen needed in Surrey during heat wave and air quality advisory

Phoenix Centre accepting donations, will then distribute to partner agencies

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.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s homeless community in need of bottled water, sunscreen during heatwave, June 24, 2021

READ ALSO: 4,500 bottles of water donated for Surrey’s homeless, but more needed through the summer, June 30, 2021

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.

Meantime, Jonquil Hallgate, the local emergency weather response coordinator, said people can also email her at surreyextremeweather@gmail.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.

READ ALSO: Weekend’s heatwave warning escalated to ‘extreme heat alert’ by Environment Canada, Aug. 13, 2021

READ ALSO: Air quality takes a dive from Vancouver to Hope as smoke blows in, Aug. 13, 2021

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.

READ ALSO: Where to go in Surrey to stay cool as heat wave looms, July 28, 2021

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.

READ ALSO: B.C. deaths triple over the past week, to 719, as a result of heat wave, July 2, 2021

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP respond 59 sudden deaths during heat wave, with half of those on Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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