Prepare for extreme heat this weekend

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Here’s what you should know when the temperatures rise this weekend, bringing extreme heat to Portsmouth.

Normally, when you get hot, your body cools itself by sweating. But when its very hot and humid, sweating just isn’t enough, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs and even cause death. Signs of overheating include:

What You Should Do

  • Stay out of the direct sun. Seek shaded or air conditioned areas such as libraries or malls;
  • Drink plenty of fluids (avoid alcohol and caffeine);
  • In buildings without air conditioning, open windows use fans, and keep shades or curtains drawn the during the day;
  • Schedule outdoor events early in the morning when it’s cooler and the air quality is better;
  • Pace yourself when you exercise;
  • Take cool showers or baths;
  • Wear light-colored, light-weight clothing. Use hats with brims and sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) for more protection;
  • Check on friends, family, and neighbors;
  • Never leave a child, a disabled or elderly person, or a pet in an unattended car. A closed vehicle can heat up to dangerous levels in as little as ten minutes;
  • Check the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency for updates of cooling center locations;
  • Seek medical attention immediately for anyone showing signs of heat stroke.

At-Risk Populations

  • Babies and young children;
  • The elderly
  • People with chronic conditions;
  • People who are obese;
  • Athletes;
  • Outdoor workers;
  • People of low socio-economic status;
  • People living on the coast or in flood zones.

You can also visit a cooling center. In Portsmouth, the cooling center is the Portsmouth Multi Purpose Senior Center, 110 Bristol Ferry Road, which is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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