hot temperaturesRecord-breaking heat wave coming to Eastern Sierra over the rest of this week into next | Be Prepared!

Triple-digit weather recently killed nearly 100 people in Oregon with temperatures over three days hitting 116 degrees. Just over the border In Canada, over the past several days, there have been 180 wildfires in British Columbia, seventy percent (70%) believed caused by lightning. And between June 25 and July 1, the British Columbia Coroners Services reported a record-breaking  719 overall deaths. That is three times the number that would be expected for the same period in the past. The point is heat kills. That does not need to happen here in the Eastern Sierra with proper precautions.

heat with dog and owner giving water

Don’t forget to protect your pets from high temperatures.

As little as one-degree in temperature up or down can make the difference whether someone can survive a heat emergency. Much of it has to do with how you dress, when you exercise, and, if you work outside, how hard you work. Make sure that you drink plenty of (preferably) water, keep cool by staying indoors, and look out for those most at risk! Those at greatest risk are the elderly, infants and children, and those with chronic or serious medical issues. And please don’t forget to look out for your pets.

Fans may or may not help in some cases. In temperatures in the 90s or higher, fans may be ineffective and even make matters worse. Cool showers or baths can help. Eat light, cool foods such as fruits and salad. Don’t cook anything that will create more heat in the house.

Wear light-colored, loose clothing with UV-protection and material that will wick sweat away from the body. Wear sunscreen to protect your face, hand, legs, or any exposed skin from sunburn. And wear a hat and sunglasses. Use an umbrella for shade.

Strenuous activities, whether work-related, exercise, or while recreating, should be done only in the cool part of the day. Usually that means between 4am to 10 am or late in the afternoon or in the evening after the sun goes when and temperatures normally drop. If you must be outside for work, have someone checking on you and remember to look out for your coworkers.

drink water

Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty on especially hot days

Drink plenty of fluids. It can be water, sports drinks, or flavored drinks. Drink even If you are not thirsty. Experts on heat illness advise avoiding sugary and alcoholic drinks. They can cause you to lose more fluids. Avoid super-cold drinks which can cause stomach cramps.

Keep cool by staying indoors where there is air conditioning or an evaporative cooler. If you don’t have access to either, check with the city or county to see if they have opened any “public cooling centers” which have air conditioning. Visit the local library or somewhere with air conditioning. Remember to bring your face mask for Covid-19 requirements and practice social distancing while inside.

Some people are at particular risk such the elderly or sick, infants and young children, people who are overweight, those with chronic medical conditions, those without air conditioning, and those that work outside. And again, don’t forget the pets!

Never leave children or pets inside a car! Leaving windows cracked open is not enough even when there is not a heat wave. Look for signs of heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat stroke…and check often!

Below is a Heat Wave Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross. Know how to respond to heat emergencies. Someone’s life may well depend on it!

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