All set to beat the heat

05/07/2015 - 09:49

Max Ledo

City Council activates its action plan for the heatwave, putting services on alert and activating 2 units to attend to the most vulnerable collectives.

Video ‘All set to beat the heat’

As from 11.00 am on Sunday, and until temperatures drop, the action plan to prevent the effects of the current heatwave on people’s health is in place. The plan means 2 social services units, consisting of 5 teams of 2 people, will step up home services and monitoring of those most vulnerable, as well as attending to the homeless.

Laia Ortiz, the second Deputy Mayor, explained that services are to be put on alert “at 34 ºC this year, and even though we haven’t reached that, we’ve chosen to activate the protocol as the probability is around 30%,  and as most of the country is at risk we thought it wise to do so”.

Street unit

A team of professionals coordinated by the Centre d’Urgències i Emergències Socials de Barcelona (CUESB) takes to the streets during the hottest periods to distribute water to homeless people on the streets and inform them they can use the Centre d’Estades Breus (CEB) [short stay centre] as a centre with a controlled temperature and accompany them there should they wish to go.

These professionals also alert emergency medical services if they detect any cases of people at risk as a consequence of the heat.

Prevention unit for the most vulnerable

City Council’s social services use telephone assistance and home visits to monitor people who are at risk and, if necessary, occasionally provide meals at home, fans and personal attention. There are also plans to provide more hours in centres with air-conditioning, such as elderly people’s centres and day care centres for the elderly and those with disabilities.

Recommendations

It is not advisable not to spend time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, to avoid direct sunlight, to wear a cap or sun hat and to use a parasol. It is recommended to douse one’s face with water, and even clothes too, which are best if they are light (cotton for example), loose and light in colour. Likewise, it is best to not to do too much physical activity in the hottest part of the day, to drink plenty of water or juice, and avoid alcoholic drinks and heavy hot dishes.

At home, it’s advisable to keep blinds down when the sun is on them and open them at night to ventilate the home. Cooling devices such as ventilators, air-conditioning and fans, along with frequent showers fans and damp towels to freshen up are also very useful measures.

During the heatwave, a 24 hour helpline is available for the public on 900 70 30 30.