A heat wave fired by climate change that has burned the southern U.S. for weeks is about to hit New York City. Here on Roosevelt Island, dangerous highs in the mid-90s merge with Air Quality Alerts. This is what you can do.
Despite a cool start today’s high of 90 degrees begins a four day string of dangerous weather. On Thursday and Friday, predictions are for highs of 96, but humidity will make it feel hotter.
And making it a bit more challenging, the National Weather Service posted an Air Quality Alert for today.
RIOC, sadly but traditionally, is far behind meeting the needs of vulnerable Roosevelt Islanders and has not made any announcements about cooling centers and other needs.
Surviving the Heat: How to Prepare for a Summer Heat Wave
Summer is upon us, and with the hot season comes the risk of heat waves. Those are not just blazing hot days but can be a genuine danger to our health.
With temperatures rising more and more each summer, it’s not a bad idea to prepare for a heat wave beforehand. In this article, we’ll discuss how to prepare yourself, your home, and your community for extreme heat to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Know the Warning Signs
Before you start preparing for a heat wave, make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion can include symptoms like headache, nausea, fatigue, and heavy sweating.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, move to a cooler place, lie down, drink water, and loosen your clothing. Heatstroke is much more severe and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include a high body temperature, confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
Call 911 or seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms.
- Stay Hydrated
One of the most crucial steps to prepare for a heat wave is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate you. If you’re going to be outside, plan ahead and bring plenty of water with you. Consider adding a hydration pack to your backpack for long walks or hikes through extreme heat.
- Dress Appropriately
Avoid dark, heavy clothing during a heat wave, and opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Wear a hat to protect your face from the sun, and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin.
If you need to be outside in the sun, try to do it in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler.
- Keep Your Home Cool
Preparing your home for a heat wave means keeping it cool and comfortable. Keep your shades, curtains, and blinds closed during the day to block out the sun’s heat.
Turn on fans or air conditioning units to keep the air circulating and cool. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider buying an electric fan or seeking out public spaces with cooling systems, like libraries or malls.
Tip: New York Citi’s public libraries are all cooling centers with the public welcome.
- Look Out for Your Community
Lastly, it’s important to look out for your community during a heat wave.
Ensure that the elderly, children, and pets are safe and cool. Check on your neighbors regularly, especially those who may not have air conditioning or who are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
If you notice someone experiencing symptoms of heatstroke, call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.
With temperatures rising each year during summer, preparing for a heat wave is more essential than ever.
By knowing the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, staying hydrated, dressing appropriately, keeping your home cool, and looking out for your community, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe during extreme heat.
Don’t wait until a heat wave arrives to take action. Start preparing now, so that you can be ready for whatever summer heat waves come your way.