Keeping Cool This Summer
Missouri is no stranger to heat. Knowing how to care for yourself when the thermometer starts to rise is important. In case you are new to the area or need a reminder, here are a few tips to keep cool this summer.
Stay out of the direct sun and heat.
Spend as many hours as possible in a cool place. Minimize physical activity. Take cool baths or showers; use cool towels. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Use air-conditioning if available.
Close your curtains and windows in the morning to keep the sun and heat out of your home. Open windows and doors at night to cool inside temperatures. Keep electric lights off or turned down. If you don’t have air-conditioning, leave your home and go to a cool, safe place. Senior centers, shopping malls, etc. are options. You can locate a cooling center by dialing 2-1-1 or www.211helps.org.
Drink plenty of water/natural juices
Cool drinks help to replenish fluid losses due to increased perspiration in high temperature. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluids every day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they cause your body to lose more water. Keep a few bottles of water in your freezer — if the power goes out, move them to your refrigerator and keep the doors shut. Eat light foods.
Know your neighbors
Develop a personal support network of people who will check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods, and plan how you will help each other in an emergency. Watch for signs of heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion. Call for help when needed. Please help to monitor seniors or people with functional needs (disabled) who are at greater risk during hot weather periods. Seniors or individuals with functional needs in the City of St. Louis may also sign up for their Functional Needs Registry by calling (314) 612-5918.
Ask your doctor about any prescription medicine you keep refrigerated (most medicine will be fine to leave in a closed refrigerator for at least 3 hours). Make plans for any animals and pets. Keep a battery-operated radio on hand to hear news reports and a flashlight handy for lighting. Remember extra batteries. Do not use candles due to fire hazards. Cordless phones may not operate during power outages so keep a corded phone handy or plugged in to another jack.
Call 911 if you or anyone you know needs medical attention.
Warning signs of heat illness include heavy sweating, cramps, headache, nausea or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and fainting.
For information on what to do during heat waves or find a cooling site, dial 2-1-1 or 800-427-4626. You can call 24 hours/7 days a week.
Senior citizens and people with disabilities who are worried about not being able to pay for air-conditioning can call Heat Up St. Louis for electric bill assistance
Information is available by calling 314-241-7668 or go to www.heatupstlouis.org for a list of Partner Agency contacts