BC heat dome: warning system coming for anniversary


British Columbia’s public safety minister says there will be an automated warning system in place in June to notify residents of dangerously high temperatures, such as last year’s deadly heat dome.

Mike Farnworth made the comment during a press conference in Vancouver with federal ministers as they outlined wildfire fighting and prevention funding.

Alert Ready is a tool used by governments across the country to broadcast alerts on radio and television stations, as well as compatible wireless devices.

Farnworth announced last week that the tool is ready for use during floods and will be extended to wildfires in June.

At the time, he said health officials needed to do more work to determine the parameters for a heat warning.

However, he said on Friday that the launch of the alert system in June has always been the government’s intention.

‚ÄúPreviously, we were willing to deploy the system for tsunami warnings, civil emergencies and Amber Alerts. But now we are online for flood hazards and the system will move forward in early June to expand the threat of wildfires and heat warnings,” Farnworth told a crowd gathered at the HMCS Discovery Naval Reserve in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

In response to a question about the timeline, Farnworth said, “It’s always been our plan for it to be ready by June.”

The BC Coroners Service has said the scorching temperatures last summer caused nearly 600 heat-related deaths.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 13, 2022.

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