Tips for staying cool in a heat wave without power

Temperatures this weekend are to exceed 100 degrees. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
WASHINGTON – Friday night’s storm has left many people in the D.C. area without power in the midst of an unrivaled heat wave.

Area residents should be aware of their own risk of getting heat stroke, along with the people around them. Check out these tips for how to stay as cool as possible without power:

  • Drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and at least one gallon each day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They both dehydrate the body.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • If you feel dizzy, weak, or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water, and wash your face with cool water. If you don’t feel better soon, get medical help quickly.
  • Work during cooler hours of the day when possible, or distribute the workload evenly throughout the day.
  • Keep blinds drawn and windows open if there is any breeze at all. Open windows on opposing sides of your home to create a cross-breeze. Position chairs and beds in the way of the breeze instead of in corners.
  • Hang damp towels in windows to make the air cooler.
  • Keep lotions in the fridge, and bottles of water in the freezer.
  • Put as much cold food as possible in either the freezer or fridge, and open it as infrequently as possible. Objects stay cooler without power for longer than empty air.
  • Wrap a damp cloth around your neck or head.
  • Most importantly: Stay out of the sun.

For more information about the signs of heat stroke and what to do if you think someone has it, visit the CDC’s website.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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