Temperatures are expected to soar into the triple digits Friday and on into the weekend in this part of Oregon. Area residents are reminded that the best defense against heat-related illnesses is prevention.
Here are some prevention tips for people and pets.
n Drink more water and juices, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you feel thirsty.
n Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. These actually cause your body to lose more fluids.
n Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall, library, or theatre. Even a couple hours of air conditioning help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
n Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
n Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
n Never leave anyone or a pet in a closed, parked vehicle, even for a few minutes.
n Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness; however, some people are at greater risk than others are. Check regularly on infants and young children, people age 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
n If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning or evening hours.
n Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids per hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
n Try to rest often in shady areas.
n Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
n Setting the central air thermostat to 75 degrees (instead of 70 degrees) results in an estimated energy savings of 115 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per month and an estimated monthly savings of $11.
n Close curtains on sun-facing windows. Awnings help shade windows that face the sun, too. Use white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
n Any animal can suffer from heat, particularly very young or very old animals, short-nosed breeds of dogs, such as pugs or bulldogs, heavy-coated cats and dogs and pets that are overweight or have a medical condition.
n Be sure to provide water and shelter from the sun at all times to animals.
n Restrict your pet's activity during extreme heat.
n Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.