An area is said to be experiencing a heatwave when temperatures are above normal for the region for at least four (4) days in a row. Heatwaves are often accompanied by higher than normal humidity levels.
- If possible, remain in air-conditioned buildings. Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
- Cover windows that receive morning and afternoon direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause a rise in your indoor temperature.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Drink two (2) to four (4) cups of water an hour while working or exercising outside.
- Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and liquids like sugary sodas containing a high amount of sugar, which can dehydrate you.
- Learn the symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and how to respond.
- Pets can suffer heat related problems, too. Bring your pet indoors, if possible. Make sure they have plenty of shade and clean water.
When the power goes out
Heatwaves can cause widespread outages when power systems are overloaded with too many people running their air conditioner. Being prepared and conserving energy during summer heatwaves can make life more comfortable. Simple things like covering windows, limiting your use of appliances, especially large TVs, doing laundry or dishes at off-peak hours, and setting your thermostat to 78 or higher can help conserve power.