The National Weather Service Boston has issued a heat advisory for eastern Massachusetts effective Thursday, August 4 at 11 a.m. Heat index values up to 105 are expected. If you are in need of a place to cool off, the Beebe Library has been named a cooling station here in Wakefield. The Library’s hours of operation for the rest of this week will be Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers the following tips to stay safe during extreme heat:
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight, and help maintain normal body temperature.
- Drink plenty of water — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink, ask how much you should drink during hot weather.
- Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. Do not leave pets outside for extended periods of time.
- If you must be outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so your body temperature will have a chance to recover. Use sunscreen with a high SPF and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Use fans to stay cool and avoid using your stove and oven. Consider spending time in air-conditioned public spaces, such as schools, libraries, theaters, and other community facilities.
- Check with your local authorities or Call 2-1-1 to find locations of cooling centers or shelters near you.
- On hot days, more people cool off around bodies of water. Playing in and around water can increase the risk of drowning. Learn how to keep yourself and your children safe in and around water.
- If there are power outages during warm weather, you may need to take additional precautions or go to a cooling center or emergency shelter to stay cool.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
Read more about heat safety from MEMA.
Keeping Pets Safe
It’s also important to know the symptoms of overheating in in pets. According to the ASPCA, symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.