Thursday, July 17, 2008
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It's hot and getting hotter

What you can do

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[July 17, 2008]  It's here. Maybe you've noticed it if you've been out and around lately. People are starting to look draggy, and may be a little grumpier than usual by about midafternoon.

Civic"It" is the heat.

While this element of weather is less overt than the threat of storms, the heat also takes its toll. When the temperature reaches the 90s and humidity climbs above 70 percent, it is more than uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. It is important to watch for high heat indexes.

Lincoln Fire Department Chief Kent Hulett said this week that it is time for everyone to kick up our awareness of the heat. Late Tuesday afternoon the fire department had their first call of the season for a possible heatstroke.

As the days heat up more and more now, Hulett said that it is important to check on the elderly and shut-ins and be watchful of our neighbors. Take note of any lack of activity. Make sure they have fans and electricity.

Health Care

Below is more detailed information of what you can do to keep yourself, others and pets safe.

The Keep Cool Illinois program offers these tips to try to avoid serious medical problems during these hot summer days.

Keeping cool tips for everyone

  • Stay in air-conditioned space at home, the library, the mall, movie theater or at a cooling center.

  • Drink lots of water and natural juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and colas.

  • Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but keep windows slightly open.

  • Stay out of the sun and avoid going out in the heat.

  • Keep electric lights off or turned down.

  • Take cool baths or showers.

  • Wear loose, light cotton clothing.

  • Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.

  • Avoid or minimize physical exertion.

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  • Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a child in a hot car.

  • Check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay cool and safe.

  • If you or anyone you know needs emergency medical attention, call 911.

  • It is against the law to open a fire hydrant. An open hydrant hinders the fire department's ability to fight fires, reduces water pressure in your home and may cause basement flooding.

Special keeping cool tips for seniors

  • During heat emergencies, seniors are urged to contact their local Area Agency on Aging or the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966 for assistance with locating senior centers, adult day service sites and other buildings that serve as cooling centers.

  • Humidity combined with temperature make up the heat index, which is similar to the wind chill factor in winter. If the temperature is in the 90s with high humidity, it can feel like it is well over 100 degrees.


Keeping cool tips for your pets

  • Provide water and shelter from the sun at all times.

  • Restrict activity during extreme heat.

  • Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.

[LDN and tips from Keep Cool Illinois]


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