Summer’s heat can be as dangerous as winter’s cold. Just because we’re not shoveling snow doesn’t mean there aren’t weather related problems. I thought I’d share some survival tips to help you beat the heat. This isn’t intended to be a thorough treatment of the subject, but these and a little common sense will help you stay alive.
Heat related illnesses are more likely when the combination of heat and humidity make it feel like it’s over 100 degrees.
When the heat index is high, you and I need to avoid prolonged work in the sun or unventilated areas. Staying in air conditioning is good, but going in and out of it can be hard on us.
However, don’t avoid using air conditioning or fans because of the anticipated cost of electricity. If financial aid for electric bills is available where you live, or fans are given out, don’t be ashamed to take advantage of the services offered.
Likewise, if there are cooling centers in your area where you can go for a few hours, do so. Or go to the library or a mall and cool off for a while. There may come a time soon enough when we don’t have power for staying cool, but don’t take unnecessary shortcuts now.
Keep plenty of water on hand to drink. Soda pop, caffeinated beverages, or other sweet drinks don’t quench your thirst and may make it worse. Don’t let yourself become dehydrated. Don’t be self conscious about taking along a bottle of water when you’re out and about.
Don’t overeat. That doesn’t mean skipping meals. Just eat less. If you’re in air conditioning much of the time, your body can be fooled into making you think you should eat more than you need. That makes you feel more miserable when you’re in the heat.
Another sensible tip we often hear in hot weather is to wear light colored clothing that reflects sunlight when you’re outdoors.
Alter your routine to take advantage of cooler temperatures in the early morning or evening. For example, water your garden or walk your dog in the morning before it gets hot.
As you’re driving, be on the alert for pavement that has buckled due to the heat.
Check on elderly or disabled neighbors to be sure they’re OK in the hot weather.
Above all, use common sense, and think survival. If you have tips of your own, feel free to leave a comment.