Friday, July 25, 2014
     

“What should I do if a heat wave is predicted or is occurring?”

  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. 
  • Hang shades, draperies, awnings, or louvers on windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering the house by as much as 80 percent.  
  • Conserve electricity. During periods of extreme heat, people tend to use a lot more power for air conditioning that can lead to a power shortage or outage.  
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.  
  • Eat well-balanced, light meals and drink plenty of water regularly.  Person who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.  
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. Although beer and alcohol beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body dehydration.  
  • Dress in loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight and helps maintain normal body temperature. 
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.  
  • Allow your body to get acclimated to hot temperatures for the first 2 or 3 days of a heat wave.  
  • Avoid too much sunshine.  Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself.  Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.  
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people.  
  • Slow down.  Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities. High-risk individuals should stay in cool places.  Get plenty of rest to allow your natural “cooling system” to work.  Take salt tablets only if specified by your physician.  
  • Vacuum or replace air conditioner filters weekly during periods of high use.