Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Be ready to beat heat

Stay cool and stay safe when temperatures soar for extended periods of time:
  • Drink fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate. 
  • Wear lightweight and breathable clothing. 
  • Check on friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, especially if they are older. 
  • No air conditioning? Go to basement, schools, libraries or shopping malls to escape the heat. 
  • Avoid working outdoors if possible and take frequent breaks if you must be outside. 
  • Wear sunscreen if going outdoors. 
  • Take a cool shower or bath after working outside or if you feel overheated. 
  • Eat small meals more often to ensure you are getting proper nutrition. 
  • Call 911 if you or someone shows signs of heat stroke and move to a cool place. 
  • Read the Red Cross heat wave preparedness checklist.

Be prepared in case you lose power during hot weather:
  • Have a charged cell phone with you or stay near a hard-wired phone (not cordless). 
  • Have emergency contacts handy, including our power outage number  –  800-662-4797. 
  • Have someone check on you, especially if you are older or have a medical condition. 
  • Consider backup power supply or have a cool place to go when needed. 
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. 
  • Follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines for food safety.

Use these energy-saving tips during hot weather:
  • Increase your thermostat setting. When at home, set it a few degrees higher. When leaving, move the setting even higher -- about 80 degrees. However, if you are older or sensitive to heat, set the thermostat to a comfortable level to avoid heat-related illness. 
  • Turn off any lights not needed. 
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest times of day. 
  • Use a microwave instead of oven – or avoid cooking altogether. 
  • Use fans – even if you have air conditioning – to help circulate the air. 
  • Cool only rooms in use. Close unused rooms. 
  • Close blinds, shades and drapes on sunny side to keep house cooler.
  • Get more energy-saving tips.

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