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Tips to Cope with Heat

Tips for keeping cool if your home does not have air-conditioning

  • Drink lots of fluids - don't wait until you are thirsty
  • Go somewhere where there is air conditioning: mall, library or movie theater
  • Lower your blinds
  • Use fans- but once it's over 90 degrees inside, fans won't protect you from heat illness
  • Take cool showers
  • Go swimming
  • Keep electric appliances turned off or on low & avoid using the oven or clothes dryer
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing
  • Eat light foods high in water content
  • Talk to your doctor about medications. Medications or dosages may need to be altered, but never change your medication on your own.

Coping with heat

Children, the elderly and people with chronic problems are especially at risk.

  • Curtail outdoor activity - stay out of the sun
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Friends, relatives and neighbor should check on people who may be at risk. Taking a break in a cool environment can help.
  • Avoid hot cars. After 20 minutes, the temperature inside a car can be 150 degrees
  • Provide your pets with shade and plenty of cool water, hose them down
  • Watch for symptoms of heat-related illnesses: headaches, rapid strong pulse, confusion, fatigue, impaired judgment, weakness, flushing, chills, hyperventilation, dizziness, nausea, an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally). In severe cases, collapse, loss of consciousness or seizures may occur.

Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

What to Do in case of heat stroke

Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Get the victim to a shady area and cool them down by putting person in a tub of cool water, cool shower; spray with cool water from a garden hose; sponge with cool water.

Do not give the victim fluids to drink.

Is the food in my refrigerator safe to eat if my power goes out?

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to keep cold air in
  • Food can keep up to 24 hours in a regular refrigerator if you don't open it very much. After 24 hours you should throw food out that is perishable (milk, etc)
  • Food in the freezer can last 2 to 3 days
  • Put ice/freezer packs in the refrigerator, that will keep it cold, too. Or put food in a cooler with ice
  • Bring your food to a relative's or friend's home with power
  • If the freezer starts to melt, BBQ your meat and eat - cook outside to keep your home cooler

Visit our website for more information on recognizing and treating heat-related health problems: or for information about health emergencies call 1-888-959-9911 or 211.