Health officials are asking residents across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent to prepare for the hottest weekend of the year to date.

A heat warning remains in effect for the entire region.

Forecasters say the heat will become significant Friday and Saturday with afternoon temperatures easily reaching the mid-thirties and humidex values in the mid-forties.

When it's that hot, health officials say everyone is affected.

"It's going to be very hot for the next few days so one of the things we do want people to remember is drink lots and lots of water even if you don't feel thirsty," says Amandeep Hans, a health promotion specialist at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Hans tells CTV News the risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, seniors, people with chronic illnesses and people working outdoors.

She urges residents never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.

Other tips include;

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing
  • Take a cool bath or shower
  • Limit outdoor activities to the coolest part of the day
  • Arrange for regular visits by family members, neighbours or friends in case you need assistance

Symptoms of heat-related illness may include rapid breathing, dizziness or fainting, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.

If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works properly before the hot weather starts. Otherwise, find an air-conditioned spot close by, where you can cool off for a few hours.

The Downtown Mission, Street Help and the Salvation Army in Windsor will all be open to help residents beat the heat.

Staff at the Downtown Mission report their sanctuary program is already at capacity with more than 100 people sleeping overnight at the shelter. Officials adds they will not turn away people in need.

The Salvation Army location on Church Street will be open 24-hours a day. Major Paul Rideout also invites residents to the community meal at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Officials at Street Help also anticipate a busy weekend, and say they are still accepting donations to water to help people in need.

Public libraries and recreational facilities will also be open as cooling centres.

The City of Windsor is also adding extra swimming hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at six outdoor pools – including Central, Lanspeary, Mic Mac and Remington.

All outdoor pools are open for afternoon recreational swim daily from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The city's eight free spray pads will also be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A cooler and less humid air mass is forecast to arrive in the wake of a weak cold front by Monday night or Tuesday of next week.