High heat is bringing out some good neighbourly behaviour in Red Deer.
With fans in short supply and temperatures climbing into the mid 30s recently, a Morrisroe family decided to lend their portable air conditioner to their next-door neighbour — a woman they barely knew who had recently moved to the city from Quebec and given birth to twins.
Mae Ribeiro recalled her 19-year-old son Noah had wondered, during a family discussion about the unprecedented heat, how the new mother and her twin babies were making out next door.
The thought of newborns in heat distress prompted Ribeiro’s husband to go over and ask the new mother if she could use an air conditioner for the babies.
“She said, ‘Oh my God, yes! I’m dying in here,’” recalled Ribeiro. “The babies were constantly crying and couldn’t sleep…”
The Ribeiros agreed to lend their neighbour their portable air conditioner for the duration of the heatwave.
Mae said her family has two fans for their townhouse, so they can cope. “They need (the air conditioner) more than we do.”
Environment Canada website states the current heat wave is here to stay for a bit. Daytime high temperatures ranging from 29 to 33 C combined with overnight lows of 14 to 17 C are expected through next week for much of central and southern Alberta.
A special air quality statement was also issued for Red Deer and parts of central Alberta Thursday and the advisory was in effect Friday. Environment Canada website states wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility.
Staff of the Golden Circle have been making wellness calls, as well as some drop-in checks, to senior clients in this weather. But the Golden Circle does not hear about all the seniors who could use some help, so executive-director Monica Morrison hopes Red Deerians will think of their older neighbours and contact them to ensure that they are not struggling under these high temperatures.
Morrison said her staff have also been seeking fans and air-conditioning units for several clients, who want to buy them but can’t get out of their house to shop. Morrison admitted fans are hard to find, but said her staff will keep looking.
Karen Mann, emergency operations centre director for the City of Red Deer, said not only seniors and babies, but other vulnerable populations are at risk in high heat.
She has been in touch with the Golden Circle, Safe Harbour, and a variety of other community partners to ensure they have everything that’s needed to take care of their clients. For instance, the city lent Turning Point an industrial fan to help staff and clients keep cool.
The City of Red Deer is inviting anyone who needs to get out of the heat into the air-conditioned recreational facility lobbies, as well as the three branches of the Red Deer Public Library.