Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh my lanta it is hot out... day 3!

Did we all mishear the meteorologists this morning? It’s getting hotter AND muggier?! We didn't think it was possible, since even making a quick walk down the street has us feeling like we’ve run a mile. 

    Photo courtesy of
    Staying inside near the air conditioner and fans has been the solution to most of our heat related woes this summer season, and that’s whats being recommended by many new stations.  But what many people fail to realize when they’re talking about Buffalo is that a lot of us don’t have air conditioners! After all, summers here don’t last very long, and we don’t generally experience heat waves like this. So, if you’re one of the many living without an air-conditioned in your life, what are you to do?

    After much researching, this red crosser couldn't find much help for staying cool indoors, especially without air-conditioning, but I've included some of my own solutions below as well as some that I found perusing the web, and additions are always welcome!

    Some keeping cool indoor tips:
    • Keep the windows open and the blinds/shades drawn
    • Try not to use the stove/oven
    • Wash your hands in cold water
    •  Drink lots of iced water to stay hydrated
    •  Try to make meals as non-cook as possible or use a grill
    • Soak your feet in ice water or take a cool bath/shower
    •  Put an ice pack on your neck
    • Create as much air flow/cross ventilation as possible using windows and fans
    • Try to keep electronics, like the television, turned off
      • Games like scrabble, slap jack, checkers are fun and don’t require too much moving around, plus if everyone in your household is playing you can focus your fans on that part of the room to help cool off!
    As far staying SAFE during this atrocious heat wave, it’s important to remember that excessive heat can cause deaths and heat-related illnesses.  Because of this, Dr. David Markenson, of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council has provided us with some of the following tips:
    •  Never leave a child or pet in a parked car – even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
    •  Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol that dehydrate the body.
    • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing in layers. Avoid dark colors that absorb the sun’s rays.
    • If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool yourself. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
    • Protect yourself from sun exposure even on cloudy or hazy days. In addition to dressing for heat, apply a broad-spectrum (protection against both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and reapply as indicated, wear eye protection (wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection) and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
    •  Be a good neighbor. Check in on the elderly, young children and pets to make sure they are not suffering from the heat.

    Want to learn more? Learn how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses by attending a Red Cross First Aid course. Visit for details or to register.

    To see other ways to beat the heat, check out day 1 and 2 of our Oh My Lanta, It’s Hot Out series, and be sure to share your “stay cool” tips below! 

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