Know how to handle the heat
Faced with record-setting temperatures and high humidity, it’s important to how to handle the heat. Here are some tips to protect people, pets and trees.
Tips for preventing heat-related illness in people
Heat-related illness happens when the body isn’t able to cool itself. Seniors, small children, and people with physical disabilities are the most vulnerable to heat-related illness, but everyone should take steps to stay safe in extreme heat.
- Drink more fluids. Drinking fluids helps your body cool itself. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Don’t drink liquids with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar: they can actually cause your body to lose more fluid.
- Never leave a person in a closed, parked vehicle. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes — even with the windows partially open.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitted clothing.
- Check on your neighbors who may be at risk. Visit seniors and other vulnerable neighbors at least twice a day and look closely for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Seek medical advice immediately if you notice nausea, weakness, disorientation, rapid pulse and dry skin.
- Stay indoors if you can. Air conditioning is your best defense against heat-related illness. If you must be outside, try to limit your activity to morning and evening, take frequent breaks in the shade, drink plenty of fluids, and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.
- Don’t rely on an electric fan. Electric fans may seem to provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Using wet cloths or a spray of mist on exposed skin will help cool your body temperature.
For more information, see heat-related illness and how to prevent it.
Last updated Aug. 9, 2013