Heat, humidity to persist in Greencastle-Antrim
Weather forecasts for the Greencastle-Antrim area are showing that hot and humid conditions are going to persist.
The National Weather Service in State College has declared heat advisories on several occasions since summer officially arrived July 21. Heat indexes and even temperatures have reached into the triple digits. Such conditions raise the risk of heat exhaustion or heat-related illness and call for precautions.
In Greencastle, Community Grace Church, 17 N. Washington St., has opened as a cooling station in cooperation with Emergency Services of Franklin County. The church opens as a cool place to rest or stay over night. Water and food are provided free of charge.
Avoiding the heat
Any activities that put you at risk for heat exhaustion or heat-related illness should be avoided.
In general, all should take extra precautions in extreme heat with any work or time spent outside. Whenever possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stoke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
To reduce the risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stoke is an emergency, so call 9-1-1.
Children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during hot weather. Car interiors reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Residents should check up on elderly relatives and neighbors and remember to provide pets with adequate water and shelter from the sun.
Heat risks for seniors
Health risks among seniors rise with the temperature. These hot days are especially hard for the elderly. The Franklin County Area Agency on Aging offers these tips for staying cool:
1. Drink plenty of water, four to eight glasses a day even if you don't feel thirsty. It also helps to minimize your intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help hydrate your body as well as keeping you healthy.
2. This is the time of year to momentarily forget about the electric bill, and turn on that air conditioner for a few hours during the hottest times of the day: from noon to 3 p.m.
3. If you have elderly neighbors, friends or family, especially those with respiratory related medical problems - check-in with them. Take a moment to help the seniors in your life by calling or stopping by to see if they need help staying cool.
4. If you need to get away from the heat for a while - take a trip to the mall, go to the grocery store, or stop by the library: visit public places with air-conditioning during the hottest times of the day or when you need a break from the heat.
For information, or to report a senior at risk, call the Aging Office at 717-263-2153 or toll-free at 800-642-6990.