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Drew: How to Stay Safe During Summer Heat Waves

By Samuetta Hill Drew

The G7 Leaders’ Summit 2022 is being held this week in Germany. The countries participating are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the U.S. One of the three main topics being discussed is global warming. This is a controversial topic dividing people into two groups – those who believe in global warming and those who do not.
Regardless of what side you find yourself on, several facts have been documented. In late June 2021, an unprecedented and dangerous heat wave engulfed the Pacific Northwest in the United Sates; high temperatures shattered records across the region, including in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon and Lytton, British Columbia.
In 2022 high temperatures have been seen much earlier not only in the United States, but across Europe and Asia. On June 14, the temperature in Madrid, Spain reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the second time in a month the mercury topped 104 degrees in Spain. In late April, temperatures in India soared to record levels, reaching 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many other countries experiencing similar scorching temperatures. The National Weather Service says record high temperatures could be set in more than 100 cities.
So how do humans remain safe during these record heat waves? Let’s continue highlighting additional safety tips.

• Dressing for the weather would appear to be a no-brainer, but during a heat wave, you must dress appropriately to stay safe. Wear loose, light-colored clothing; UV-protective and moisture-wicking clothing are best, especially if you work or are going to be outside for an extensive length of time. This will help protect your skin from sunburn and help absorb sweat to keep you a little cooler.
• Make sure you protect your face, hands, and other exposed skin with sunscreen. Wearing a hat and sunglasses are also recommended.
• Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activities, when possible. It is best to participate in these types of outdoor activities during early morning hours or postpone to later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler.  This also applies to those who work in their lawns/garden.
• Try to stay cool during a heat wave. Ideally it is best to stay indoors where there is air conditioning. Many cities have designated cooling stations for citizens without AC. If you do not have air conditioning, visit a public space that has it such as a mall, library, or movie theater. Do not remain in an extreme heated environment for health safety reasons. Check their COVID-19 safety protocols to make sure and see if a mask is required.
• Many individuals have been complaining about allergies and their asthma. People with these types of upper respiratory conditions need to be cautious about being outside for prolonged periods of time during a heat wave.

Again, it is important that you respect the destructive potential of extreme heat if you are going to successfully Keep an Eye on Safety.