Ride Out the Heat Wave with Red Cross Tips

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With an intense heat wave expected to sweep over the Northeast this week, your American Red Cross urges a three-pronged approach to keeping your cool:

· Protect Yourself from High Heat Impact

· Prepare for Potential Power Outages

· Swim with Safety

Heat Safety:

Prolonged exposure to excessive humidity and high temperatures can put stress on our bodies. Minimize this impact by staying cool, staying inside and staying hydrated by drinking lots of water. When air conditioning is not available at home or through a cooling center, go to a mall, a movie or visit your local library for relief.

Wear light-colored clothing.

Drink water, even if you are not thirsty.

Work in the morning, before it gets too hot.

Take frequent break in a cool location, preferably indoors.

Power Outage Preparedness:

Hot summer days mean increased energy use for air conditioning, putting a real strain on Northeast power supplies. This creates the potential for temporary blackouts.

Assemble Essential Supplies Ahead of Time:

• Flashlight (remember, due to the extreme risk of fire, candles should not be used during a power outage).

• Portable radio

• Extra batteries for the flashlight and portable radio

• At least one gallon of water per person per day

• A small supply of food

• Keep your car fuel tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

Swimming Safety:

Many people seek heat relief in pools, lakes and oceans. Be sure to follow these heat precautions even when out by the pool. Dehydration and extreme sunburn are still risks, even when you are in the water.

Swim in supervised areas only.

Obey all rules and posted signs.

Don't mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.

Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts, especially thunder and lightning storms. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.

American Red Cross swimming lessons teach aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water. If you haven’t learned to swim yet, start now!


Red Cross disaster relief is always there when needed, but there are some things YOU can do to help prepare for emergencies and keep you and your family safe ...

-Animal First Aid

-Animal Safety

-Barnyard Animal Rescue Plan

-Bikes, Blades & Boards

-Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention

-Disaster Supplies Kit


-Evacuation Plan

-Family Disaster Planning


-First Aid For Pets


-Food and Water in an Emergeny

-Food Supplies in Case of Disaster-Food Supplies

-Food & Water

-Heat Waves


-Landslides & Mudslides

-Looking For A Home?

-Power Outages




-Water Storage Before Disaster Strikes


-Winter Holiday Safety

-Winter Storms

©Copyright 2006 American National Red Cross RI Chapter. All Rights Reserved.

American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter · 105 Gano Street :: PO Box 2496 · Providence, RI 02906

(401) 831-7700 · TOLL FREE 1-800-842-1122