The Canary Islands Government’s Department of Health, under the supervision of the Directorate General of Public Health, is taking proactive measures in line with the Plan of Preventive Actions for the Effects of Excessive Temperatures on Health. The aim is to mitigate the health-related impacts of high temperatures and to facilitate coordination among various institutions in the Canary Islands, including healthcare and emergency centers, and municipalities affected by alert forecasts. Collaboration with the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) is also a key component of these efforts.
Health risk warnings across the Canary Islands:
- Red warning: Adeje from October 4th to October 8th.
- Yellow warning: Candelaria from October 4th to October 7th. San Miguel de Abona, La Orotava, and El Puerto de la Cruz from October 4th to October 6th.
- Red warning: Agüimes from October 2nd to October 5th, Mogán from October 2nd to October 8th, San Bartolomé de Tirajana until October 6th, and La Aldea San Nicolás and Santa Lucía de Tirajana until October 8th.
- Yellow warning: Valsequillo and Ingenio until October 4th.
- Red warning: Pájara and Tuineje until October 7th.
- Yellow warning: Antigua until October 2nd.
- Yellow warning: San Bartolomé until October 4th.
These temperature thresholds and risk levels are determined by the Ministry of Health, with specific criteria in place. Four risk levels are defined based on factors such as maximum forecasted temperatures, threshold values, the duration of temperature persistence (a minimum of three days), and regional risk factors:
- Level 0 (green): No risk.
- Level 1 (yellow): Low risk.
- Level 2 (orange): Medium risk.
- Level 3 (red): High risk.
The Directorate General of Public Health, responsible for coordinating the Plan of Preventive Actions on the Effects of Excess Temperatures on Health in the Canary Islands since 2004, maintains an epidemiological surveillance system to monitor the impact of high temperatures on public health. This system involves coordination with healthcare and emergency centers in the Canary Islands and the notification of alert forecasts to these centers and affected municipalities.
In addition, Public Health disseminates information through the media, offering practical advice and measures to prevent the adverse effects of exposure to high temperatures.
A set of recommendations is provided, especially tailored to vulnerable populations:
- Seek cooler environments and shade.
- Limit physical activity, particularly outdoor sports during peak heat.
- Stay hydrated by drinking fluids regularly.
- Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic, or sugary beverages that can promote dehydration.
- Pay special attention to vulnerable groups, including the elderly, infants, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with certain medical conditions.
- Dress in light, breathable clothing.
- Never leave anyone, especially vulnerable individuals, in a parked, locked vehicle.
- Seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms related to high temperatures lasting over an hour.
- Consume light meals to replenish lost salts through sweating.
- Store medications in a cool place to prevent alteration due to heat.
Furthermore, the Government of the Canary Islands can activate other preventive plans, such as the Specific Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Care for Risks due to Adverse Meteorological Phenomena (PEFMA), when high temperatures pose a risk to the population, property, and the environment. These plans are enacted to ensure the safety and well-being of the region’s residents.