From the Media Capital, to the Global Ethiopian Community
Monday October 16th 2017

Heat Woes

With the weather scorching at 100 degrees, some schools were forced to close early this week.  Commuting was anything but fun as some trains had no or minimal air conditioning.  Outside, children took to fire hydrants, finding relief in the cool water as they splashed about.  In New York City , the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) opened cooling centers in all five boroughs.  To locate a cooling center near you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or log onto OEM’s website.  New Jersey also opened its cooling centers.  Cooling centers are open to the public and are air-conditioned.  While it is common to feel helpless and overwhelmed during a heat wave, there are some things that you can do to overcome it.

Here are some helpful tips listed on OEM’s website to beat the heat!

  • If possible, stay out of the sun.  When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
  • Use an air conditioner if you have one.  Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans.  Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater, or cooling center.
  • Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
  • Make a special effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with special needs.  Many older New Yorkers live alone and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated from friends and family.
  • Seniors and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
  • Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty.  * Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
  • Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.

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