Hundreds of record high temperatures have baked the United States this week. Temperatures will continue to reach dangerous levels in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, Houston, Philadelphia and many more.
Look for highs to climb into the mid- to upper 90s and even triple digits. Plus, there’s still no relief for the scorching West and Plains states. With this dangerous heat in the forecast, here are some safety tips from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Red Cross to keep cool:
- Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
- Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production, also increase water loss. Include vegetable salads and whole grains in your meals and eat small meals at regular intervals. This will keep your body cool
- Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. 10-15 glasses of water will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
- During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
- Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
- Use CFLs. When at home avoid switching on bulbs as they increase the heat inside. Go for Compact Flourescent Light bulbs – they reduce the heat and save electricity too.
- Know what a Heat Index Is. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by as much as 15° F.
- Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
Remember those over age 65, children, and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to heat-related illness. The best place to be during extreme heat is in an air-conditioned place indoors. Share these tips with your residents and add more in the comments section.