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Beat The Heat: Your Summer Survival Guide

July 19, 2019 - 10:30 am
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Summer is here and so is the heat. With temperatures reaching triple digits and heat waves in effect, it’s best to prep to stay healthy and safe in the summer while also having fun. Here’s what you need to know.

THE BASICS:

  • Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks which speeds dehydration.
  • Stay in air conditioning as much as possible.
  • If you go outside, stay in the shade.
  • If your home is not air-conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place.
  • Wear sunscreen outside along with loose-fitting, light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in the car.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Make sure to leave plenty of water for your pets.
  • Check on elderly and people with disabilities in your community who may need assistance keeping cool.
  • Know where the open air-conditioned cooling stations are. Contact your local and/or county offices to learn more. 
  • During heat emergencies, NYC Cooling Centers are open.
  • For locations and hours, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem

SUNBURNS

If you’ve ever forgotten to reapply your sunscreen at the beach or spent a day out in the sun, then you know the results of sunburns and sun exposure. 

The best way to prevent a sunburn is to apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun. As for when you’re out there, reapplying sunscreen is what most people often forget to do. This one step can be the difference between red, itchy, irritated skin and well-protected skin. 

If you do find yourself sunburnt, here’s how to treat it:

  • Aloe vera gel helps to cool and calm the skin as well as reduce pain and promote healing.
  • Stay out the sun! Keep your skin protected while it’s healing.
  • For mild sunburn, cool compresses with equal parts milk and water calm the skin. 
  • For severe burns, see your doctor.

SUN EXPOSURE

If you’re outside having fun, it’s hard to listen to your body’s signs that you need to take a break. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be the result of this, so try your best to listen when your body is telling you something.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness, and vomiting. If you feel any of these, take a break from the sun and relax in the shade. 

Heat stroke symptoms can be more severe, and include a high body temperature, the absence of sweating, red or flushed dry skin, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, disorientation, aitation, seizure, and/or a coma.

Prevention: Stay hydrated, avoid working out in high-temperature or high-humidity environments, and avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol, or tea, as these can dehydrate you.

Treatment: Heat stroke can lead to very severe medical problems such as brain and organ damage, or even death. If you or someone around you is showing symptoms of heat stroke, call 911. While waiting for EMS, find some shade and apply water and ice packs to the skin.

ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

  • Run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it is cooler outside to reduce heat and moisture in your home.
  • Close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out when the air conditioner is running.
  • Keep shades, blinds, and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.
  • Turn off air conditioners, lights, and other appliances when not at home, and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Keep air conditioner filters clean.
  • If you run a business, keep your door closed while the air conditioner is running.
  • Tell your utility provider if you or someone you know depends on medical equipment that requires electricity.

POWER OUTAGES

With more people using their air conditioning units and the recent power outage, make sure you contact your utility company to fix any issues and keep you cool.

ConEdison: 1-800-752-6633

Central Hudson: 845-452-2700

NYSEG: 1-800-572-1111

National Grid: 1-800-930-5003 (Long Island & the Rockaways) or 1-800-642-4272 (Upstate New York)

PSE&G New Jersey: 1-800-436-7734

PSEG Long Island: 1-800-490-0025 or 631-755-6000

Rochester Gas & Electric: 1-800-743-2110

National Fuel: 1-800-365-3234

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