Summer Heat Wave Survival Guide
Follow These Tips to Beat The Summer Heat!
Everybody loves the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…until a tsunami-style heat wave rolls into town. Sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity raise a lot more serious issues than sweaty clothes and physical discomfort; high summer heat often produces life-threatening health concerns, power outages and blackouts and disruptions in community services.
Make sure your summer doesn’t turn into a bummer when the mercury tops the 100-degree mark by following these heat wave survival tips.
Keeping Your Cool:
- Slow Down! Avoid strenuous activity during the sun’s peak hours of 11AM to 4PM. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. If you must exercise or exert yourself outside, do so during the day’s coolest hours between 4AM and 7AM.
- Avoid Too Much Sunshine. Direct sunlight will produce even greater heat than the surrounding air and draw vital moisture out of your body’s cells. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. When you’re out in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and a hat to protect your face and head.
- Dress Appropriately. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Lighter, looser clothing provides ideal ventilation. Darker clothing will actually absorb sunlight and heat.
- Eat Small, Frequent Meals. The more calories you consume, the more heat your body will produce, so cut back. Avoid rich, fatty and high-protein foods. Focus more on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people.
- Stay Indoors as Much as Possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine.
- Clean Air Conditioners Frequently. During periods of high use, air conditioner filters can become clogged or filled with dirt, making them less efficient. Keeping them clean will allow your air conditioner to provide more cool air.
- Opt for A/C Over Fans. Locations with air conditioning are the safest places during extreme heat because electric fans do not cool the air. Fans do help sweat evaporate, which gives a cooling effect.
- Drink Plenty of Water Regularly and Often. Your body needs water to keep cool.
Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but in time they make the heat’s effects on your body worse.
- NEVER Leave Children or Pets Alone in Closed Vehicles. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees F within minutes. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill in minutes.
- Go Shopping! Shopping malls and movie theaters always run air conditioning
Energy Conservation Tips
- Get the most out of your air conditioner. Set your air conditioner’s thermostat to no lower than 78 degrees. Only use the air conditioner when you are home; if you want to cool your home prior to your return, set a timer to switch on no more than 30 minutes before you arrive.
- Turn off non-essential appliances off. Stereos, TVs and other devices can produce a lot of unwanted heat.
- Time your appliance usage. Only use appliances that require substantial electricity during off-peak hours early in the morning or very late at night.
- Prepare for possible power outages and disruptions. Keep an Emergency Supply Kit in an easily accessible place. Items to include: a flashlight, battery-powered AM/FM radio, first-aid kit, bottled water and extra batteries.
To Report a Power Outage:
- Delmarva Power and Light: 1-800-898-8042 -or- 1-800-898-8045
- PECO Energy: 1-800-841-4141