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Prepare for excessive heat and take steps to keep cool

Warm summer days are here, but the next few days will be downright hot in our region.

The National Weather Service forecasts dangerously high temperatures will be in the Puget Sound region from Wednesday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 14.

Over the next several days, it will be important to stay out of the heat as much as possible and to protect yourself and others from heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Sun and Heat

Stay cool.

  • Find a public space with air conditioning. Be sure to check and follow COVID-19 guidance. Cooling centers across the county are another option to beat the heat. Need transportation to or from a cooling center? Pierce Transit is offering free rides.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Wear light, breathable clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors, especially elderly.
  • Take cold showers or baths.
  • Cover windows that are exposed to the sun with curtains.
  • Place a bowl of ice or ice packs in front of a box fan or oscillating fan bring cool air inside.
  • Infants, children, elderly, and those with chronic health conditions are most at risk. Check on them frequently.
  • Certain medications can also make a person more vulnerable to heat stroke. Check with your pharmacy or healthcare provider to find out about your medications.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and lots of sugar.

 Prepare for the heat.

  • Prepare food ahead of time and reheat in a microwave or have cold meals. Avoid using your stove or oven to reduce heat buildup in your home.
  • Do laundry and run dishwashers now. Washers, dryers, or dishwashers can create extra heat.
  • Set ceiling fans to spin to push air towards you. This will create a breeze in rooms.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed to block out direct sunlight.
  • Make ice now and make sure you have extra water on hand.
  • If you have air conditioning and are willing to share your space,  talk to your friends and family. Make sure everyone is vaccinated.

 Protect yourself and others.

  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car. Protect your pet’s paws by keeping your pet off hot pavement or asphalt.  
  • Avoid sunburn by using sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
  • Find shaded areas to stay out of the sun. Visit parks with trees and coverings to stay cool.
  • Use caution when going into the water to cool off. Use a personal flotation device on the water and choose the safest location.
  • Get an indoor thermometer to monitor the temperatures in your home.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 911 or contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms.

When it comes to masking during extreme heat, we understand everyone’s health is different. Be sure to make decisions about your health that keep you healthy and safe.

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