Be weather ready all year long, so you can stay safe during heavy rain and windstorms, snow and ice, or extreme heat. Check Environment Canada’s website for public weather alerts.

Keep reading for information about how to stay safe during four types of extreme weather:

  1. Extreme heat events
  2. Snow, ice and extreme cold
  3. Heavy rain
  4. Windstorms

1. Extreme heat events

In response to the 2021 heat dome, multiple health sector partners and Environment and Climate Change Canada (Environment Canada) developed a BC Heat Alert and Response System (BC HARS). This system lays out the criteria that Environment Canada will use to issue an alert for a Heat Warning or an Extreme Heat Emergency, the appropriate public health messaging for both types of alerts, and the recommended actions for the health sector and other partners. 

Public communication: We will post a notification on our News page and our social media channels when there is a Heat Warning or Extreme Heat Emergency alert in effect. We will let you know what steps the City is taking to help people cope with the heat and what actions you can take to help you – and your family, friends, and neighbours – stay safe. 

Heat alerts

There are two levels of significant heat alerts issued by Environment Canada: a Heat Warning and an Extreme Heat Emergency. 

1. Heat Warning

In southwest BC, a Heat Warning is issued when two or more consecutive days of daytime maximum temperatures are expected to reach 29°C or warmer, and nighttime minimum temperatures are expected to be 16°C or warmer. 

  • We take steps to help residents and visitors stay cool, such as opening cooling centres, which are indoor public spaces where people can take a break from the higher temperatures experienced outdoors or indoors in spaces without fans or air conditioning. 
  • Misting tents, portable water filling stations in parks, and extended hours for cooling centres and spray parks may also be available depending on the type of heat alert and the severity of the extreme heat event.

2. Extreme Heat Emergency

An Extreme Heat Emergency is when the Heat Warning criteria have been met, and daytime and nighttime temperatures are expected to continue to get hotter each day. During an extreme heat emergency, Fraser Health may advise people to stay indoors if possible with at least part of the day spent in air-conditioned spaces.

Note that Environment Canada may issue another type of heat alert called a Special Weather Statement – this is the least urgent type of alert. It is issued to let you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern.

Cooling centres and amenities available during a Heat Warning and/or Heat Emergency:

Service/amenity:

Heat Warning:

Extreme Heat Emergency:

Cooling centres:

Civic Centre Galleria (pet-friendly, dogs must be on a leash) and Port Moody Public Library

Yes – available during regular business hours

Yes – available during regular business hours 

Extended hours for Civic Centre Galleria may be announced at time of alert

Additional public spaces with air-conditioning:

Kyle Centre and Arts Centre

Yes – available during regular business hours

Yes – available during regular business hours 

If required, additional spaces may be made available at time of alert

Misting poles/tunnel:

Inlet Park, North Shore Community Park, Westhill Park (poles) and
Pioneer Memorial Park (tunnel)

Yes – available daily throughout summer, 8am-9pm Yes – available daily throughout summer, 8am-9pm     

Misting tents:

Pioneer Memorial Park, Rocky Point Park, and outside Kyle Centre

No – not available

Yes – available from 8am to 9pm

Water bottle filling stations:

Civic Centre Galleria and Port Moody Recreation Complex

Yes – available during regular business hours

Yes – available during regular business hours 

Extended hours for Civic Centre Galleria may be announced at time of alert

Portable water bottle filling station:

Rocky Point Park

No – not available

 

Water fountains are available at Rocky Point Park during regular hours

Yes – available from 8am to 9pm

Additional locations may be announced at time of alert

Spray parks:

Rocky Point Park, Easthill Park (closed for the 2024 season), and Ailsa Park

Yes – available during regular hours (visit our Parks page for hours of operation)

Yes – available during regular hours (visit our Parks page for hours of operation)

Extended hours may be announced at time of alert

Outdoor pools:

Westhill Park and Rocky Point Park

Yes – available during regular hours (visit our Aquatics page for hours of operation)

Yes – available during regular hours (visit our Aquatics page for hours of operation)
Extended hours may be announced at time of alert

Parks and trails (for shade):

various locations

Yes – most parks and trails are available from dawn until dusk (check our Parks page for locations and features)

Yes – most parks and trails are available from dawn until dusk (check our Parks page for locations and features)

Sasamat Lake

(təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park)

Yes – available during regular hours (visit metrovancouver.org for park hours)

Yes – available during regular hours (visit metrovancouver.org for park hours)

Looking for cooling centres open in the Metro Vancouver region? Check the hot weather resources on the B.C. government’s Emergency Map.

Tips to prevent heat-related illness

Heat-related illness can happen to anyone (regardless of age or fitness level) who stays in the summer heat and sun for too long. Heat-related illness can lead to weakness, disorientation, and exhaustion. A mild case of heat-related illness is sometimes called heat exhaustion and does not necessarily constitute an emergency. However, in severe cases, heat-related illness can lead to heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. Make sure to check on those you know who may be vulnerable to extreme heat.

Take steps to stay cool
When Environment Canada issues a Heat Warning or declares an Extreme Heat Emergency, take steps to stay cool. Here are some ideas:

  • stay hydrated – there are water bottle filling stations inside the Civic Centre Galleria and the Port Moody Recreation Complex;
  • avoid drinks that can contribute to dehydration (e.g. alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine);
  • seek out air-conditioned public spaces such as the Civic Centre Galleria and the Port Moody Public Library (located in the same building at 100 Newport Drive);
  • wear a hat and light, loose clothing so that air can circulate;
  • take a cool shower or put part of your body into a tepid bath;
  • cool off in a pool – in the summer months, we operate two outdoor pools: Rocky Point Pool and Westhill Pool (check our Aquatics page for information); 
  • head to a spray park – we also have three outdoor spray parks located at Rocky Point Park, Ailsa Park, and Easthill Park;
  • visit parks and trails where you can find shade – check our Parks page for an interactive map with details like park features and facilities;
  • apply sunscreen if you are heading outdoors, as sunburned skin reduces the body’s ability to cool itself;
  • know the humidex rating — it combines the temperature and humidity to indicate how hot, humid weather feels to the average person;
  • limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and seek shade when you do go outside – during an Extreme Heat Emergency, health officials may recommend that you stay indoors if possible with at least part of the day spent in air-conditioned spaces; and
  • if you have air conditioning, be sure to turn it on – it does not need to be on as high as it can go to help keep you safe. 

And here are two important reminders to help keep people and pets safe:

  • if you are able, please check on family, friends, and neighbours who may be vulnerable to extreme heat – aim to connect with at least three people to see if they are coping or if they need assistance; and
  • do not leave children or pets in hot vehicles, no matter how short the stop.
 When to seek help

If you begin to feel tired, dizzy, or nauseated, or if you develop a headache, get out of the heat immediately. Seek out an air-conditioned building, and drink water. When recognized early, most mild heat-related illnesses, sometimes called heat exhaustion, can be treated at home. Act immediately to start cooling the affected person.

Note that mild heat exhaustion does not cause changes in mental alertness. Consult a health care provider about changes in mental alertness in someone who has been exposed to the heat.

If symptoms are not mild, last longer than one hour, change, worsen, or cause you concern, contact a health care provider. Call 9-1-1 if you suspect heat stroke and keep trying to cool the individual until help arrives.

 Prepare an extreme heat kit

Having an extreme heat kit ready to go can help you cope while temperatures remain high. Prepare yours today! Include items such as:

  • bottled water
  • rehydration solution (2 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups pure unsweetened orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • cups for drinking water
  • basins or jugs for water 
  • ice packs or ice
  • plastic bags (fill with ice and add drinking water)
  • large and small towels (wet towels can be kept in the fridge and used to cool your body)
  • misting bottles
  • sunscreen
  • thermometers (for checking body temperature and ambient temperature)
  • clothing (light-coloured, lightweight, and loose clothing plus a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses)
  • first aid supplies
  • tin foil or cardboard that can be used to block the sun from hitting windows (apply to the outside of the windows for maximum effect)
Prepare your home

A few modifications to your home can make a big difference during periods of extreme heat. Pick and choose from the list below based on your needs. Even one or two things can help.

Indoors:

  • Install awnings, shutters, blinds or curtains over your windows to keep the sun out during the day.
  • Create a space in the coolest part of your home, such as the basement, for when outside temperatures get very hot.
  • Check that your fan or air conditioner is working. You may be eligible for the Free Portable Air Conditioner program.
  • Keep digital thermometers available to accurately measure indoor temperatures (31 degrees or higher is dangerous for vulnerable people).
  • Have fans available to help move cooler air indoors during the late evening and early morning hours.
  • Consider installing a heat pump.

Tip: Fans cannot effectively reduce body temperatures or prevent heat-related illness in people at risk. Do not rely on fans as your primary cooling method during an Extreme Heat Emergency.

Outdoors:

  • Install exterior covers or reflective films that block the sun from hitting the windows. This can be as simple as applying cardboard to the outside of the window.

Tip: Uncovered windows can increase the internal heat of your home by two to three degrees.

Here are some resources to help you prepare your home:

Additional resources

Fraser Health provides additional tips for staying safe in the sun and beating the heat.

Health Canada has several resources on heat for specific at-risk groups:

HealthLink BC and the BC Centre for Disease Control have several resources on heat-related illness and protection:

Pets and extreme heat

Here are some tips for keeping pets safe:

  • never leave a pet in a parked car;
  • make sure there is plenty of fresh water and shaded shelter;
  • check pavement temperatures to prevent animals from burning their feet; and
  • plan for walks in the morning or evening, and in as much shade as possible. If you have access to a hose, a gentle mist spray can help keep them cool before and after walking.
  • look out for signs of heat stroke:
    • heavy panting
    • lethargy
    • confusion or loss of coordination
    • drooling or foaming at the mouth
    • vomiting or diarrhea
    • shaking or weakness
    • seizures
  • if you see an animal in distress in a vehicle:
    • note the license plate and vehicle information and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately
    • to report the "hot dog in car" situation if no owner is found or when animal is suffering symptoms of heat stroke, call the BC SPCA provincial call centre at 1-855-622-7722 or, in an emergency, call 9-1-1 for police attendance
      Note: Do NOT break the window. Only RCMP, local police, and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress - you may hurt yourself or the dog in the process - instead, report to one of the agencies above.

    • check out the BC SPCA website for information on keeping your pets safe and cool during the summer heat
Poor air quality

Wildfire smoke events are becoming more frequent and severe as the climate changes, resulting in more days with poor air quality that can impact health. Providing cleaner indoor air inside all buildings is the best way to protect health during wildfire smoke events.

Visit the BC Air Quality website to check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). The BC government’s AQHI gives air quality ratings and health messages for 22 B.C. communities. Use the AQHI to understand the air quality in your community and to help you make decisions about outdoor activities.

Since air quality can change quickly, the AQHI can provide important guidance for activities and events in addition to air quality alerts issued by Metro Vancouver and the BC Ministry of Environment.

Additional resources related to air quality:

Visit canada.ca for more information on weather alerts and how to prepare and respond to summer weather.

2. Snow, ice and extreme cold

Plan for winter weather conditions in advance as much as possible and take note of weather forecasts. It’s important to be prepared for emergencies, know how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, and know what steps to take to winterize your home. Here is some useful information to help you get ready for, and get through, winter conditions in our region.

Personal cold weather safety

Monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada so you can stay warm and dry. When the forecast calls for extreme cold, be aware of the potential for frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is damage to the skin from exposure to cold weather, and it can happen at any temperature below zero degrees. Hypothermia happens when the body’s temperature gets so low that it is hard for oxygen to get to the brain.

Anyone looking for a place to warm up is welcome to visit the public areas of the Port Moody Recreation Complex (300 Ioco Road) or the Civic Centre (100 Newport Drive) during regular operating hours. 

If you are able, please check on neighbours who are vulnerable, elderly, and/or have mobility challenges. If you need help or you are looking for information on behalf of vulnerable individuals, consider calling 2-1-1. 211 British Columbia is a free and confidential service that connects people to helpful and vital resources in their community. Dial or text 2-1-1 to be connected with a resource navigator who will provide information and referral to available social, government, and community supports and services that can help with:

  • basic needs like food and shelter
  • mental health and addictions support
  • legal and financial assistance
  • supports for seniors, newcomers, and much more

Frostbite

Look for the 4 "P"s of frostbite:

  • pink - affected areas will be reddish in colour (this is the first sign of frostbite)
  • pain - affected areas will become painful
  • patches - white, waxy feeling patches show up where skin is dying
  • pricklies - these areas will then feel numb 

If you think someone might have frostbite, call 8-1-1 for advice. If the symptoms look more severe, seek immediate medical attention and call 9-1-1.

Tips to prevent frostbite:

  • Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in. If it is too cold outside, consider staying indoors.
  • Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or school bag. Wear larger sized mittens over your gloves.
  • Wear a hat that fully covers your ears.
  • Wear a neck warmer to protect the chin, lips and cheeks. They are all extremely susceptible to frostbite.
  • Wear waterproof winter boots with room for an extra layer of socks. Wear two pairs of socks - wool if possible.
  • Make sure you are able to wiggle your toes in your boots. This air space around your toes acts as insulation.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol if you plan to be outside; it can cause the body to lose heat faster.
  • Plan to protect yourself: carry emergency supplies and warm clothes and let others know your travel plans. 

Hypothermia

It doesn’t need to be below freezing to get hypothermia. People can become hypothermic from a short exposure to severe cold or longer exposure to mild to moderate temperatures.  

Look for the "UMBLES" from people affected by cold temperatures:

  • a person who mumbles
  • a person who stumbles
  • a person who fumbles objects 

Also look for:

  • shivering (shivering may stop if body temperature falls below 32degrees Celsius)
  • confusion
  • pale, cold, blue-grey skin
  • numbness
  • slow, shallow breathing
  • slow pulse
  • difficult to wake up 

If you notice someone displaying any of the signs above, seek immediate medical attention and call 9-1-1. 

Tips to prevent hypothermia:

  • Wear clothes in layers or ensure those in your care do.
    • inner layer (closest to the skin) - should have "wicking" properties to move any moisture away from the skin
    • middle layer - should be the insulating layer to prevent loss of your body heat while keeping the cold outside air away
    • outer layer - should be the "windbreaking" layer to reduce the chances of cold air reaching the insulating layer
  • Drink warm fluids and avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol use is associated with hypothermia. It promotes heat loss can lead to a false sense of warmth.
  • Avoid sweating as this can lead to wet clothes, which can increase your risk of hypothermia. While doing physical labour or activity, remove some layers to avoid getting too hot. Once you are done the activity, put your layers back on to keep warm.
  • Wear a hat - up to 40 per cent of body heat loss can occur through the head.
  • Wear gloves or mittens or both!
  • Wear a neck warmer to protect the chin, lips, and cheeks. 

Learn more at fraserhealth.ca.

Extreme Weather Response Shelter
Progressive Housing Society will operate an emergency shelter on the worst-weather nights of the year at the Kyle Centre in Port Moody. Walk-ups are not permitted – please call to arrange pick-up. Contact Progressive Housing at 604-209-1587 or email Progressive Winter shelter staff.
  • Location: Kyle Centre, 125 Kyle St, Port Moody. 
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. 

Winter shelter pick-up/drop-off locations are:

  • Lincoln SkyTrain Station
  • Kingsway (north side) at Jane Street – near Bottle Depot
  • Pheasant Drive and Christmas Way (south side of Superstore) 

Find out about additional resources in the Tri-Cities.

Prepare your home - prevent frozen pipes

When very cold temperatures arrive, there is a possibility that water service connections may freeze. Pipes on private property commonly freeze where they are buried shallowly, or where they enter through foundation walls in basements or crawlspaces with very little or no insulation. 

Prevent your pipes from freezing

If you experience a loss of water during cold temperatures and suspect that your water service connection may be frozen, you'll need to contact a plumber.

Here are some tips to prepare for cold weather:

  • turn off the water supply from your house to the hose
  • wrap pipes in insulation, especially hose bibs
  • consider putting heat tape on any exposed pipes
  • seal air leaks in your home and garage, especially in areas where pipes are located
  • when temperatures drop below zero, consider running a continuous stream (about the width of a standard drinking straw) of cold water from a small interior faucet to help prevent your pipes from freezing (do this only until the weather starts to warm up)

Snow and ice removal

Visit portmoody.ca/snowandice for details on snow and ice removal, including a map of priority routes. 

When it snows, the City works to clear travel routes in a priority sequence, plowing and salting major roads, transit corridors, and connector routes, as well as particularly hazardous areas. The City also works to clear high priority sidewalks, including pedestrian bridge crossings, walkways that provide access to transit centres, and walkways around civic facilities like the Recreation Complex, Works Yard, City Hall, and Inlet Centre Fire Hall.

  • Residents, strata corporations, and businesses are responsible for removing snow or ice from sidewalks and curb letdowns bordering their property within 24 hours of a snowfall or storm event (Bylaw 2426). Owners of private property along Priority Pedestrian Routes are required to clear adjacent sidewalks of snow and ice by 10am every day.
    • Please be a good neighbour. By clearing the sidewalk adjacent to your property in a timely manner, you can help pedestrians, particularly people with mobility issues, children, and users of public transit, get around town safely. Please help others who may need assistance with shovelling snow.
  • Property and business owners must also clear snow around fire hydrants to ensure emergency access. 
  • Other ways you can help during or after a snowfall event:
    • avoid driving if possible, particularly on very steep or winding roads
    • avoid parking on public roads so that your vehicle does not obstruct snow removal equipment - seasonal parking restrictions apply in a few areas of the city where it is especially difficult for snowplows to pass next to parked cars 
    • clear any drains near your property, as blocked catch basins can cause flooding, or lead to excess water along the road area (which can become dangerous if it freezes)
    • clear snow from nearby fire hydrants, as hidden hydrants can cost first responders valuable time in an emergency

Has someone helped you out by shoveling snow? Nominate them to be a Snow Star.

Snow shovelling tips
  • Use the shovel to push snow to one side rather than lifting it. If lifting is necessary, bend your knees to take the strain off your back.
  • Pace yourself by removing small amounts of snow frequently instead of removing a large pile all at once.
  • Do not shovel snow from sidewalks or driveways onto the road, as this creates more work for snow plows and may result in a plow pushing the snow back onto your driveway. Instead, face your house and pile the white stuff to the left of your driveway (on your property, not on the road or sidewalk), as this gives you a better line of sight to approaching traffic.
  • Spread sand, rock salt, or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to increase traction and reduce accidents.
Winter driving

ICBC recommends the use of winter tires for driving in snow and ice. Keep in mind that all-season tires can begin to lose their elasticity and grip on the road at temperatures below 7°C. If you plan to change your tires, make arrangements before winter weather conditions arrive.

Winter driving tips (courtesy of Shift Into Winter):

  • Drop your speed to match road conditions.
  • Watch for black ice. Accelerate and brake slowly.
  • When stopping, plan well in advance, apply the brakes gently, and slowly add pressure rather than braking suddenly.
  • Avoid sudden moves. Slow down and steer smoothly and gradually to avoid skidding.
  • Know how to handle a skid. Ease off the brake or accelerator, and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go.
  • See and be seen. Always drive with your headlights on.
  • Be extremely cautious when approaching highway maintenance vehicles, such as snow plows and salt or sand trucks. Maintain a safe following distance.

3. Heavy rain

Storm drains, power outages, and flooding tips

Storm drains:

Heavy rainfall can cause flooding, so please remember to clear catch basins near your home. Remove leaves, branches, and other debris to prevent flooding on your street.

Power outages:

Prepare for an outage before it happens:

  • Make sure you have flashlights and extra batteries on hand.
  • Visit BC Hydro's website for more tips. 
  • Report power outages to BC Hydro by calling 1 800 BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376), or *HYDRO (*49376) on your mobile phone.
  • In case of a storm, make sure your emergency kit is always ready and easily accessible.

Flooding:

Heavy rainfall can cause local or widespread flooding or flash floods, so it's important to be prepared and informed:

 

Driving tips

Whether it’s light showers or a torrential downpour, rain can also make driving dangerous. Here are some tips for staying safe behind the wheel:

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are based on driving in ideal conditions, not on wet roads.
  • Maintain a proper following distance. More distance is required for stopping safely in wet weather.
  • When starting from a stop on slick roads, start slowly and accelerate gradually.
  • Make sure your tires are in good shape (with lots of tread) and your windshield wipers are in good working order.
  • Turn on your headlights, even in the daytime.
  • Avoid hydroplaning – sliding uncontrollably across a wet road surface – by slowing down and driving with tires that have adequate tread. If you start to slide, ease off the accelerator slowly, and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go.
  • The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out under the water and/or there may be sink holes.
  • Fifteen centimetres (six inches) of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, possibly causing loss of control or stalling, while 30.5 centimetres (one foot) of water will float many vehicles.
  • If a car begins to flood, abandon it quickly and head to higher ground.

4. Windstorms

Although windstorms are not frequent in the Metro Vancouver area, it’s best to be prepared, as they can be hazardous and cause a significant amount of damage. Winds that reach 70 kilometres per hour or more are capable of breaking large tree branches, or uprooting or breaking entire trees, which can lead to power outages, property damage, and blocked roads.

What to do before, during, and after a wind storm

Before a storm:

  • Be informed. Check weather forecasts via radio, television, websites, and social media.
  • Prune dead branches from trees, and cut down dead trees. A certified arborist can check tree health and help with pruning or removal. If a tree on municipal property looks like it might be a hazard, please call City of Port Moody Operations at 604-469-4574.
  • Identify places where you and your family can shelter.
  • Tie down anything that might be blown away by the wind, such as garden furniture, garbage cans, etc.

During the storm:

  • If you are indoors, stay there, and stay well away from any windows, exterior doors, or fireplaces.
  • Avoid using an elevator, in case of a power outage.
  • If you are outside, head indoors as quickly as possible. Never take shelter under a tree, in case of falling branches or lightning.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you. Avoid the base of steep or unstable slopes, and low areas prone to flooding. Stay inside the car until the danger passes.
  • Boaters should avoid being on the water and ensure their boats are secured.
  • If you are indoors, you can use a cell or cordless phone, but stay away from land-line telephones with cords in case of lightning.
  • Report power outages to BC Hydro by calling 1 800 BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376), or *HYDRO (*49376) on your mobile phone.

After the wind dies down:

  • Check your property for damage, and clear away debris from rain gutters and catch basins. Watch out for broken glass.
  • When walking around outdoors, look up to check for hazards. Broken tree branches may hang dangerously overhead.
  • If you see a downed or damaged wire, call 9-1-1 and ask for Fire. Always assume a downed or damaged power line is live, and stay back at least 10 metres.
  • Report fallen trees, branches, and other debris on municipal property by calling City of Port Moody Operations at 604-469-4574 or submitting a report a problem form.
  • Continue to check radio, television, websites, or social media for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Be a good neighbour. Help people who may require special assistance, such as parents with small children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
Visit our emergency preparedness page to learn more about disaster readiness.