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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 11, 2014
Kathy Estes, Thurston County Emergency Management at (360) 867-2800 or EstesK@co.thurston.wa.us
Steve Romines, Thurston County Medic One at (360) 704-2783 or RomineS@co.thurston.wa.us

Beat the Heat with Safety in Mind
County residents reminded of summer safety tips as heatwave approaches

Summer heat is about to take hold in the Puget Sound region, and Thurston County's emergency services staff are reminding residents that a few simple tips can help you beat the heat and stay safe, too.

  • Keep a cool head and remember the basics: drink plenty of fluids; avoid the sun and stay in the shade; 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 a hot 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.
For additional safety tips on how to beat the heat, download the Thurston County Medic One pamphlet at www.co.thurston.wa.us/medic1/documents/Heat-injury-pamphlet.pdf.

A day at the beach or on the lake is a great way to beat the heat, and following some simple water safety tips can keep your fun in the sun from taking a tragic turn.
  • Life jackets save lives! The best way for kids and adults to stay safe when swimming, boating or floating is to wear a life jacket that fits you well.

  • 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.

  • Know the basics and know your limits. Stay sober, learn CPR and always take a cell phone
    with GPS.
Do you need a life jacket before you hit the water? Safe Kids Thurston County has a life jacket loaner program, where you can borrow life jackets at no cost. The life jacket loaner program has life jackets in every size, from infant to adult, 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 on the life jacket loaner program and other child safety information.

As temperatures climb this weekend, keeps tabs on weather conditions and hot weather tips and information with the Thurston County Emergency Management Division web pages at www.co.thurston.wa.us/em. If temperatures rise to the mid-90s or higher, additional tips and possible cooling center information will be posted on the Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Stay connected with TCEM with social media. Get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook and Twitter:

    • Facebook: ThurstonEM
    • Twitter: @ThurstonEM


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3