Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tips on How to Stay Cool

With the expected heat wave rapidly approaching and temperatures that could get as high as 100 degrees, it is very important for us all to take preemptive measures to try and stay cool to avoid any health issues. Throughout the Commonwealth cities and towns have designated "cool zones" and have extended communty pool's hours of operations, so please check with your local officials to see where such locations have been designated.

Below are some tips offered by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency as a way to help combat the extreme heat we are about to face:

• Slow down, avoid strenuous activity. Do not try to do too much on a hot day.

• Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.

• Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Attempt to stay hydrated.

• Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. They can actually dehydrate your body.

• Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals. Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic heat.

• Stay indoors as much as possible.

• If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate perspiration, which cools your body.

• Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air conditioned schools, libraries, theaters and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.

• Check with your community for information about possible local ‘cooling centers’. You may also want to call 2-1-1 for ‘cooling center’ information or go to

• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.

• Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. If you are outside, use sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.

If you need assstance accessing your local community's resources or a government agency please do not hesitate in contacting your state senator or state representative for assistance.