Tips for preparing for – and staying safe during – a heat wave
Beaches will no doubt be busy places this weekend, as temperatures in Northeast Ohio are expected to soar into the 90s (don’t forget the sunscreen!)
Here are some tips for preparing for extended periods of excessive heat:
- Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
- Be aware of both the temperature and the heat index. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined.
- Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for power outages.
- Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit in case a power outage occurs.
- Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
- If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
- Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
- Get trained in First Aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
- Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
During a heat wave, we encourage you and your family to:
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
More helpful information, including how to treat heat-related illnesses and preparing for power outages can be found here.
And if you find relief from the heat at a beach, whether it be at Atwood Lake, Pymatuning State Park, or along the shores of Lake Erie, be sure to observe the rules of water safety.
And have fun!