Keep yourself, family, pets and community safe during the heat

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Summertime weather is finally here with temperatures reaching the 90’s this weekend we’ve complied tips on how to keep yourself, family, neighbors and pets safe. 

Cooling Centers

Visit our Cooling Centers website or or dial 2-1-1 for locations on where to stay cool during the heat of the day. 

Avoid swimming in rivers, lakes and creeks

Heavy rains have created fast moving rivers, creeks and streams. The water is also extremely cold. Please avoid cooling down in natural waterways. If you are on the water, do the following:

  • Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.
  • Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.
  • Learn swimming and water survival skills.
  • Children, inexperienced swimmers and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or while swimming, diving or supervising swimmers.

Stay healthy

When it's hot, you should:

  • Drink water and bring extra bottles for yourself and others.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Talk to your doctor first if you are on water pills.
  • Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Use air conditioning or a fan.
  • Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself, use it to create cross-ventilation.
  • Wear lightweight and loose clothing.
  • Avoid using your stove or oven.
  • Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Take care of those around you

  • Check in on elders and vulnerable neighbors during warm weather -- twice a day is best.
  • Never leave a person, child or a pet in a hot car.
  • Check regularly on how babies and toddlers, seniors, people taking mental health medications and people with heart disease or high blood pressure are doing. Learn the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • Share a fan.
  • Invite a friend to a splash pad, movie, a mall or museum.

If you must be out in the heat 

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) and reapply as directed.
  • Consider packing a couple extra bottles of water, these could be used for you and your family or anyone you see that looks like they could use a cool drink of water.
  • Know that the heat index (what the temperature feels like when humidity is involved) plays a role. When sweat isn't able to evaporate from the body due to high humidity, the body has difficulty regulating its temperature and cooling itself off. The result? heat stroke, cramps and exhaustion are all likely to happen.

If you have a pet 

  • NEVER leave a pet in a parked car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can soar quickly to dangerous levels even if the outside temperature is in the 70s.
  • Leave your pet at home during warm or hot weather.
  • Be sure your pet has access to shade or a cool room and to plenty of drinking water.
  • Exercise your dog early or late in the day to avoid the hottest times of the day.
  • Remember that paw pads can easily burn on hot pavement. The rule is: if you cannot rest the back of your hand on the surface for more than 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.
  • Prevent sunburn by keeping your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and rubbing sun block (that is approved for use on pets) on unprotected areas such as the skin around the lips, tip of the nose and ears. 
  • Watch for signs of heatstroke: heavy panting, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, confusion and/or collapse. If heatstroke is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and apply cool (not ice cold) water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body (armpits, stomach, feet) while applying moving air (from a fan or AC vent) to lower its temperature. 

Only call 9-1-1 in an emergency that is actively happening

Call 9-1-1 for emergencies that are actively happening when you make the call. Do not call 9-1-1 for illegal fireworks use, unless you see something on fire. 

For non-emergency matters, call 503-655-8211.