Officials warn of excessive heat


The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for Friday, July 11, through Sunday, July 13, for both King and Pierce counties. Weekend temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s and not fall below 65 degrees. High temperatures may extend through mid-next week.

The elderly, young children and people with chronic health problems are especially susceptible to excessive heat related illnesses. Certain medications also may increase heat sensitivity. Facilities are reminded to take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses and watch for symptoms in patients and staff.

Officials also advise to drink plenty of fluids, especially water and avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol.

People also should avoid hot foods and heavy meals as they add heat to the body. Also helpful is dressing in lightweight clothing and avoiding or reducing strenuous activity. If possible, people are advised to stay indoors and use air conditioning. It also helps to cover windows that get afternoon or morning sun.

Symptoms of heat-related illness include headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, confusion, dizziness, unconsciousness, red, hot, and dry skin, a rapid strong pulse and an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F).

In light of the high heat advisory, Puget Sound Energy issued the following suggestions:

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. For those with central air or air conditioning, PSE recommends no lower than 75 degrees. That might seem on the warm side, but customers can save up to 5 percent on their electric bill by taking that simple step.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the indoor temperature while you’re away.
  • Use fans to help circulate the air. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room, make sure to turn off the fan.
  • Make sure to close window blinds and curtains to block direct sunlight. In the evening, open windows for cross ventilation.
  • Switch out any conventional light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, which produce 70 percent less heat.
  • Run appliances – such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers – at night. A hot dishwasher sends heat throughout the house; run only on full loads and use the ‘no heat’ option for the drying cycle.
  • Consider cooking a later dinner or grilling outside to prevent any additional heat buildup.
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