TRAFFIC ALERT

Climbers on George Washington Bridge snarl traffic

Tips to stay cool and safe during summer heat

Do you know how to keep safe during the most brutal summer heat? Meteorologist Geoff Bansen has details.

News 12 Staff

May 29, 2020, 6:08 PM

Updated 1,450 days ago

Share:

Tips to stay cool and safe during summer heat
This article was original written for Heat Safety Awareness Day back in May.
We are gearing up for a sweltering, sultry summer weekend across the area! Although the first thing on may of our minds is finding ways to stay cool while having fun, it is important to note the dangers that excessive heat can present.
Let's start by talking about the heat index. This is a measure of how hot it really feels when humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. For humidity, the dew point temperature is used. This is the temperature at which the air becomes saturated with moisture. The National Weather Service will then issue alerts when the heat index reaches certain thresholds.
In recent summers, you have likely seen us show one or more of these heat alerts on our News 12 stations:
  • Excessive Heat Watch—Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
  • Heat Advisory—Take Action! A heat advisory is issued in advance of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The rule of thumb for advisories in our area is when the maximum heat index temperature reaches 100°-104° at any one time, or it is expected to remain over 95° for two or more consecutive days. 
  • Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action! An excessive heat warning is issued in advance of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for warnings in our area is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be over 105° for any length of time.
If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die. Keep in mind, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. For example, residents in Florida are much more used to (and much more prepared for) 90°+ weather than those in Alaska. 
Here are a few of the most basic safety precautions for when the heat is on: 
  • Limit outdoor activities, especially those that are strenuous
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating beverages, especially alcohol. 
  • Wear light-colored clothing and apply sunscreen often.
  • If you have to work outdoors, try to do so very early or very late in the day.
This next safety measure cannot be overstated. It is NEVER safe to leave a toddler, elderly or disabled person or pet locked in a car. Cars can turn into ovens in mere minutes. A reported 52 young children died in hot cars nationally in 2019, and there has already been one death in April of 2020.
Lastly, it is very important to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. During the summer months, your body's ability to cool itself becomes challenged at times. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises. This can lead to either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Refer to the diagram below for information on both.
 


More from News 12
0:49
Dozens protest proposed lithium-ion battery storage facility in Mahopac

Dozens protest proposed lithium-ion battery storage facility in Mahopac

1:50
Mostly cloudy skies, cool temperatures and chance of stray shower in the Hudson Valley

Mostly cloudy skies, cool temperatures and chance of stray shower in the Hudson Valley

 FDNY: 3 climbers on George Washington Bridge; traffic snarled

FDNY: 3 climbers on George Washington Bridge; traffic snarled

0:34
Police: 3 suspects arrested following pursuit in Armonk

Police: 3 suspects arrested following pursuit in Armonk

0:25
Goshen man pleads guilty to predatory sexual assault of child

Goshen man pleads guilty to predatory sexual assault of child

1:53
Hudson Valley unites to help Ukraine, continues local efforts to help war-torn country

Hudson Valley unites to help Ukraine, continues local efforts to help war-torn country

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

0:20
Police: Spikes deployed by officers to stop car during pursuit in Town of Bedford

Police: Spikes deployed by officers to stop car during pursuit in Town of Bedford

0:30
Yorktown Grange Fair to celebrate its 100th anniversary this September

Yorktown Grange Fair to celebrate its 100th anniversary this September

1:48
City of Mount Vernon celebrates and reflects 70 years since landmark Brown v. Board of Ed decision

City of Mount Vernon celebrates and reflects 70 years since landmark Brown v. Board of Ed decision

0:27
Man arrested for hate crime at Kingston synagogue

Man arrested for hate crime at Kingston synagogue

0:31
Westchester County DA: Peekskill man pleads guilty to gunning down man in front of his children

Westchester County DA: Peekskill man pleads guilty to gunning down man in front of his children

0:47
Two Middletown state troopers honored for heroism

Two Middletown state troopers honored for heroism

1:44
Caught on camera: Person seen taking down Israeli flag from Rockland County business

Caught on camera: Person seen taking down Israeli flag from Rockland County business

0:59
Man who allegedly set Warwick home of trooper’s family on fire indicted for attempted murder

Man who allegedly set Warwick home of trooper’s family on fire indicted for attempted murder

1:31
DEC tranquilizes, safely relocates bear in Poughkeepsie neighborhood

DEC tranquilizes, safely relocates bear in Poughkeepsie neighborhood

1:45
Transfiguration School set to close with little notice, leaving parents scrambling to find new schools

Transfiguration School set to close with little notice, leaving parents scrambling to find new schools

0:50
New firefighter training center opens in Pomona

New firefighter training center opens in Pomona

0:53
29th annual Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers brunch celebrates future educators

29th annual Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers brunch celebrates future educators

0:19
Playland Park's Gondola Wheel closed due to active Osprey nesting

Playland Park's Gondola Wheel closed due to active Osprey nesting