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Simple ways to beat the heat

Stay cool this summer


Do you love warm weather? Lots of people do. But when temperatures go from warm to hot – and sometimes to extreme – it’s time to take extra steps to stay safe.

Here are things you can do to keep cool this summer.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water is super important during hot weather. The National Weather Service lists three tips for staying hydrated in the heat: Cut back on your alcohol intake, avoid caffeine and “drink plenty of fluids – even if you don’t feel thirsty.”

Pause during peak hours

Try to limit the time you spend outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – those are the sun’s peak hours. More advice from the NWS: Slow down. “Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day.”

Wear lightweight clothing

Did you know dark-colored clothing absorbs heat? Keep this in mind when you dress during the summer. Choose loose, light-colored clothing. It reflects heat – helping your body maintain a normal, safe temperature.

Spend time in air-conditioned places

If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, look for places that do – and that don’t mind if you hang out. Suggestions from the NWS include your local library, a nearby café, or the home of a friend or family member. During heat emergencies, many metropolitan areas have cooling centers – check your local government’s website.

Keep your home (and car) dark ...

When you’re at home, a good way to keep heat out – and cool, air-conditioned air in – is to close window blinds, shades and curtains. Ceiling fans and portable fans can help circulate air. Not using your oven and other heat-generating appliances helps, too. And don’t forget about your car! If you don’t have access to a garage, look for shaded spots to park and use window reflectors/sunshades to help ward off heat.

... but your meals light

Chilled foods such as salads make for good, non-heavy meals during hot weather. For snacks, think watermelon, berries, cucumbers – foods that have high water content. They’ll help you stay hydrated, too.

Watch for heat advisories

The National Weather Service has two types of advisories for alerting the public about extreme heat:
An excessive heat watch is issued when the risk of a heat wave has increased but has not yet occurred. According to the NWS, the watch is “intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.”
An excessive heat warning is issued when a heat wave is in progress or on the very near horizon. “The warning is used for high heat conditions that pose a significant threat to life,” the NWS says.

Go to weather.gov/grb/heat to learn more about extreme heat and how to protect yourself from it.

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