While heat waves are an expected part of summer, navigating them isn’t always so straightforward. This weather can often result in people suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Our region has recently experienced unrelenting heat. It’s only halfway through summer that there’s a good chance that hotter temperatures await us.
Most North Shore residents in Suffolk County are blessed with some form of air conditioning. For those who don’t, local municipalities can offer relief.
Each summer, the towns of Huntington, Smithtown and Brookhaven have helped residents escape the intense heat. Huntington officials installed cooling stations during the hottest days of the year. The city announced on July 19 that it would provide cooling stations at locations including Clark Gillies Arena (formerly Dix Hills Ice Rink) and John J. Flanagan Center/Senior Center last week.
Huntington, as well as Smithtown and Brookhaven, also extend the hours of operation for beaches and public pools during such weather events. When cooling stations or extended hours are required, municipalities will post this information on their websites and social media pages.
These means of communication are also useful during other weather events, such as floods. Although rainstorms can temporarily offset high temperatures, they can also quickly flood areas, posing a danger to public safety. And we’re also in the middle of hurricane season, so residents should keep an eye out for those weather reports.
When it comes to heat, a few helpful tips can help.
When exposed to dangerous heat, stay well hydrated, eat light, wear light, loose clothing, minimize exposure to direct sunlight, and reduce time spent outdoors. These precautions should be observed by everyone, especially the elderly, pregnant or suffering from chronic illnesses. Caregivers should also monitor infants and children more closely than usual.
Of course, a visit to an air-conditioned mall to escape the heat can never be underestimated. A few hours of walking and shopping inside can waste time as the heat rages outside.
Remember, when you enter the mall or a store, do not leave your pet in the car. Temperatures inside a parked car can be much higher than outside – up to 30 degrees or more. Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car, even if the window is ajar.
Also, the same precautions humans take apply to pets, so make sure they get plenty of water and aren’t outside during the hottest parts of the day. .
Although we are fortunate to live in an area where there are plenty of choices for cooling off, many residents are unaware of their options. Monitor sick or elderly neighbors during heat waves as you would during snowstorms to make sure they have everything they need.
And don’t worry; in a few months, people will soon enjoy the color change of the leaves, and in a few weeks, they will be building snowmen.