Businesses and workplaces adapt to record-breaking heat on P.E.I.

·2 min read
Tammy Clory, assistant manager at Charlottetown's Home Hardware, says the store doubled its stock of air conditioners and fans after selling out last summer. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
Tammy Clory, assistant manager at Charlottetown's Home Hardware, says the store doubled its stock of air conditioners and fans after selling out last summer. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

As Prince Edward Island experienced its fifth consecutive day of heat warnings on Monday, many businesses and workplaces adapted their operations to keep staff and customers cool.

Temperatures at the Charlottetown Airport reached the high-20s, and with the humidex, felt more like the mid-30s.

Jeff Sinnott, co-owner of Hunter's Ale House, said the restaurant shortened its kitchen hours and reduced its menu items to reduce strain on staff.

"We took away the grills and the sauteed items to reduce some of the heat," he said. "Not just some of the heat, but some of the time that's required to focus in the kitchen."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Similarly, staff at the Bevan Lodge community care facility in Charlottetown adjusted their kitchen services — offering more cold plates and outdoor cooking — to keep residents comfortable.

"The last two days, we haven't been cooking in the kitchen," said lodge manager Donna McLure. "We've been doing barbecues where they sit on the deck, or go under the canopy, and sit there and eat."

She said the lodge has also recently installed air conditioning units and fans to keep residents cool.

Meanwhile, Charlottetown Public Works crews were starting earlier and doing the bulk of their more taxing jobs in the morning. Assistant manager Joey MacKinnon said it is important to take precautions when a heat wave lasts several days.

"We have superintendents providing the crews with water, asking them to make sure they stay hydrated, take frequent breaks, get out of the sun when they can," MacKinnon said. "We've also asked them to work the buddy system so we have somebody that's always with you monitoring your signs and symptoms if there ever was heat stroke or anything."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

"We're just not accustomed to temperatures like this, so it's draining. It's very hard on the crews," he said.

Some Island businesses were catering to customers trying to stay cool. Charlottetown Home Hardware assistant manager Tammy Clory said the store doubled its stock of air conditioners and fans after selling out last summer.

"The weather in the last couple of years has been very much the same, so we understand this heat is coming and we try to prepare for it," she said. "Years ago, it was a luxury to have an air conditioner. Now it's almost a necessity."

Environment Canada expected the high temperatures to ease Monday evening.

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