National Weather Service statistical data shows that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Follow these tips to stay safe when temperatures rise.
Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day.
Dress For Summer
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
Put Less Fuel on your Inner Fire
Some foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production, also increase water loss. Eat small meals and eat more often to keep yourself cool.
Drink Plenty of Water or Other Non-Alcoholic or Decaffeinated Fluids
Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. People who have epilepsy; heart, kidney or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before drinking more fluids.
Spend More Time in Air-Conditioned Places
Air conditioning in homes and other buildings greatly reduces danger from the heat. If you can’t afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day. These cooling centers located in Springfield may be open as needed to provide air-conditioned facilities and relief from the heat:
- American Red Cross, 1545 N. West Bypass
- Salvation Army, 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway
- YMCA, 1901 E. Republic Road
- YMCA, 417 S. Jefferson
- Other locations as announced in local media
- Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
- Stay aware so you can plan to stay cool and safe.
- Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household.
- Have a plan for wherever you spend time - home, work and school - and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
- Check the contents of your emergency preparedness kit in case a power outage occurs.
- Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They’re more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help. Also, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than people living in rural areas.
- Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
- Meet your animals' needs for water and shade. Check on them frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.