It's hot! City, county share tips for staying safe in Valley heat wave
August 17, 2012 · 11:41 AM
Temperatures in the Valley are forecast to peak today at 95 degrees or higher. That means local cities and King County are warning residents to brace for the heat and stay safe.
A heat advisory is in effect until 11 p.m. tonight.
The following are tips shared by local authorities on how residents can avoid heat sickness:
Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and schedule outdoor activities for early morning or late evening, if possible. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body. Have a beverage with you at all times, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
If you must go outside, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and sunscreen. Avoid or reduce strenuous or tiring activities that take a lot of energy. Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
Monitor Children, Neighbors, and Pets
Check in on neighbors that may need assistance. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk for heat-related illness. Closely monitor children and pets for heat-related signs and symptoms and never leave them in unattended vehicles.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting. If you see someone with signs of overheating, move the person to a cooler location, have them rest for a few minutes and then slowly drink a cool beverage. Get medical attention for them immediately if they do not feel better. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability unless treated immediately.
Symptoms of heat stroke include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.
Where to Stay Cool
Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
Cooling shelters have opened throughout the Puget Sound region. For a list of shelters and hours, please check the King County website at www.kingcounty.gov.
The Mt. Si Senior Center is open to all ages as a temporary place to cool down. It is located in North Bend at 411 Main Avenue South. Hours for August 16 and 17 are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please bring your own water and snacks. Information: 425-888-3434
The Snoqualmie Valley YMCA is open to facility and non-facility members to cool down. Non-facility members are welcome in the air-conditioned community meeting room (all ages) and the Youth Development Center (6th grade and above). The YMCA is located on Snoqualmie Ridge at 35018 SE Ridge Street by Snoqualmie Community Park. Hours of operation on August 16 and 17 are 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Check in at the front counter; anyone over age 16 should bring identification. Please bring your own water and snacks. Information: 425-256-3115
Don’t forget your local library! Although not official cooling shelters, you can certainly go and read for awhile or use the computers. The Snoqualmie Library is located at 7824 Center Blvd. SE on Snoqualmie Ridge; for information, call (425) 888-1223.
The North Bend Library is located at 115 E. 4th St., North Bend; (425) 888-0554
The Fall City Library is located at 33415 S.E. 42nd Pl., Fall City; (425) 222-5951
The Carnation Library is located at 4804 Tolt Ave,. Carnation; (425) 333-4398
River and Water Safety
Rivers are a big temptation in hot weather, but it would be safer to go to a beach, lake or pool that has a lifeguard present. If you do go to a river, please exercise the utmost caution, especially with children, staying close enough to reach them immediately. Always wear a life vest. When floating a river, always tell someone that is not with you when you expect to put in and take out. Don’t float a river alone.
The King County website (www.kingcounty.gov) has a lot of information for dealing with the heat.
• You can follow real-time local temperatures at www.snoqualmieweather.com.