Are You Ready For A Heat Wave?
The summer is expected to get even hotter. Read on to learn more about how to prepare yourself for the heat wave.
The scorching weather that swept many parts of Canada in recent days is here to stay, that’s according to Environment Canada. While people who are enjoying the beach are finding some relief from the heat, those who are living in inland provinces are advised to prepare for the worst.
Climatologists are surprised for the heat wave that struck many parts of Canada at the beginning of July. It is a rare phenomenon that experts are now warning people to prepare for an unusually hot summer.
Like any other climate disturbance, extended heat waves can be dangerous, even lifethreatening, to high risk populations that include young children, elderly, people with chronic illnesses, and those weigh beyond the scales.
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
• Know how to recognize and treat heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke).
• Make sure that the air-conditioning (AC) system is working well. It recommended to be checked before the summer season.
• If your house does not have AC system, consider having it installed. If not, be sure to have one or more fans on standby to help cool down your body.
• Weather-strip sills and doors to allow more cool air in.
• Put up shades over windows that receive sunlight.
In case of extreme heat:
• Stay indoors and avoid performing strenuous physical activities outdoors.
• Listen to warnings about extreme heat from your local authorities.
• When at home, stay on the lowest floor and away from the sun, usually the coolest spot in the house. If your house is also hot, stay in a cool place (such as a shopping mall, library, community center) especially at the height of the day.
• Increase fluid intake to keep your body hydrated and help you cool down. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine as they can cause dehydration.
• Eat small, frequent meals. Do not take on too much heavy foods or excessive protein.
• Wear light, loose clothing; avoid layers of clothing.
• Take frequent baths or cool showers.
• Never leave young children in closed vehicles even for short periods. Temperatures within the car can shoot up to a dangerous level within just a few minutes.
As we age, the body gradually finds it difficult to adjust to sudden changes in temperature making older adults at risk for heat emergencies during heat waves. Moreover, there are many chronic medical conditions and medications that can affect the body’s normal responses to heat. Make sure to check on elderly family members and relatives in case of extreme heat.
While animals can adapt to changes in environment, they may not be
able to achieve adequate coping mechanisms because of limitations in their environment. Make sure that your pets have plenty of water and access to cooler environments. Never over-exert your pets outdoors during the peak of the day, especially for pets with thick fur or older pets. Like humans, animals can also suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.