If you’re on the East End for this Independence Day weekend, you know summer in the Hamptons is heating up—literally.
As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, the local weather has topped at about 85 degrees (in Southampton), according to Accuweather.com, but with 68 percent humidity and the blazing sun, it feels more like 97 degrees (that’s Accuweather’s official RealFeel® temp). While we’re far from the truly punishing heat in the city (RealFeel® temp is 101 degrees there), it’s still important to prepare and avoid any heat-related calamities.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a list of measures to take in order to remain safe during extreme heat, the first of which, of course, is to drink more fluids and remain hydrated regardless of activity level. Stay away from liquids that contain alcohol (duh!), caffeine or large amounts of sugar, as these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. The CDC also notes that, despite our desire to do so, drinking very cold liquids is a bad idea because they can cause stomach cramps.
If you are able, stay inside your nice, air-conditioned home or, if you don’t have AC (so sorry if this is the case), stay with a friend or family member who does, or spend some time in an air-conditioned public place, like K-Mart or your local library. The CDC says even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return to the heat. Remember, midday is the hottest time, and things will cool down after those peak hours. The temperature begins decreasing after about 1 p.m. and by 8 p.m. Saturday night, for example, Accuweather says it will drop to 77 degrees—and feel like it.
CDC also notes that electric fans can provide some comfort, but fans won’t prevent heat-related illness in extremely high temperatures. Try taking a cool shower or bath, or jumping into the ocean, if you can find a parking space at the beach. Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing and never, EVER (event he CDC uses all caps here) leave someone in a closed, parked vehicle. That goes double for dogs, people. Leaving a dog in the car is very dangerous. They have higher body temperatures than humans and the windshield acts like a magnifying glass increasing the heat and power of the sun, even as it gets closer to evening. Shame on you, whoever left their dog locked inside their car in the TJ Maxx parking lot two weeks ago—you know who you are!
Keep a special eye on infants and young children, people aged 65 years and older, the mentally or physically ill (especially with heart disease of high blood pressure) and limit activity, as much as possible, to morning and evening hours. Finally, make sure to rest often, preferably in the shade or air-conditioning, and wear sunscreen, broad spectrum, SPF 15 or higher.
Keep this tips close at hand. You’ll be needing them for the remainder of the weekend, and the rest of this summer.