Tahoe chief’s corner: Many ways to beat the summer heat | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chief’s corner: Many ways to beat the summer heat

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

It's hot outside! To best prepare yourself to beat the heat, one thing you can do is check the weather before heading outdoors.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued several heat warnings and advisories in northern California and Nevada this summer. These excessive heat indexes are most likely to continue throughout the remainder of the summer. Please take the necessary precautions to avoid the harmful impacts of the high temperatures.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with extended periods of high temperatures.

You can take some simple steps when the weather is extremely hot to beat the heat:

• Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.

• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

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• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

• Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

• Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.

• Check the weather/listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).

• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.

• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.

• Protect face and head by wearing sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat.

• Postpone outdoor games and activities.

• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

• Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

• Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.

• Download the FEMA App for heat advisories and safety tips.

• Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For more tips and plenty of information, please visit http://www.fema.gov.

"Chief's Corner" is a regular feature from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Interim Chief Ryan Sommers and other regional fire chiefs, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.