OLYMPIA – The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Puget Sound Region, starting Tuesday, August 1 at 2:00 pm through Friday, August 4 at 3:00 a.m.
Temperatures in Thurston County and the surrounding area are expected to exceed 100 degrees during this period. Citizens can access current National Weather Service notifications and additional resources at the Thurston County Emergency Management Division web page at www.co.thurston.wa.us/em.
Cooling center information is available on the Emergency Management website. Information and updates will also be posted to Facebook and Twitter accounts, as they become available.
- Facebook: ThurstonEM
- Twitter: @ThurstonEM
The most vulnerable to heat injury are young children, adults 65 and older, and individuals who have had past heat injury – such as heat exhaustion, cramps, or stroke. In addition, our local homeless population should, to the extent possible, take special care to drink water, and make use of the cooling centers.
The Thurston County Emergency Management team would like to encourage citizens to check on family members, neighbors, and friends during this period, and to remember a few basic safety tips to beat the heat!
HOT WEATHER TIPS
- Keep a cool head and remember the basics: drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and caffeine); stay in the shade and avoid the sun; use sunscreen, even if you're outside for only a few minutes.
- Find cooler air in public places. Shopping centers, movie theaters, libraries, and community centers are typically air conditioned, so go out, have fun, and find some cooler air.
- Take it easy and avoid heatstroke. Don't over-exert yourself with heavy duty yard work or strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- NEVER leave children or pets in the car.
- Keep pets cool, too. Check on your outdoor pets frequently and make sure they have shelter from the sun and plenty of water.
- The heat can be hard on the young and the elderly. Check on relatives and neighbors who may be more sensitive to hot weather—young children, infants, seniors, and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk during extreme hot weather.
According to Thurston County Health Office, Dr. Rachel Wood, "symptoms of heat exhaustion can include: headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, and loss of coordination. Drinking water, choosing loose, light clothing, and using water or ice packs when needed to cool down your body's core temperature can help."
- Life jackets save lives! Safe Kids Thurston County has a life jacket loaner program where you can borrow life jackets at no cost. They are available at Kenneydell Park, Pioneer Park, Millersylvania State Park, Clear Lake, Summit Lake, Lawrence Lake, and Offutt Lake Resort. Visit www.SafeKidsThurstonCounty.org/water-safety for more information.
- The air may be hot, but the water is still cold. Many rivers and lakes in western Washington are fed by snow melt and glaciers, and the average water temperature for Puget Sound is only about 60 degrees. Stay close to shore and rest if you are cold or tired.
- Always swim with a buddy and swim where there are lifeguards, when possible. Let friends and family know where you plan to swim and when you expect to return home.
- Swimming in open water is harder than in a pool, and even strong swimmers will tire faster and get into trouble more quickly. Stay close to shore where rescuers can easily reach you in an emergency.
- Rivers, lakes, and beaches have hidden hazards. Watch out for sudden drop-offs, riptides and currents, rocks, logs, and snags that are hidden underwater.
- Stay sober and know your limits. Learn CPR and always take a cell phone with GPS.