(NECN) - With the extremely hot weather forecast for the Bay State, the Massachusetts Emergency Managaement Agency is urging people to be cautious, and is offering some tips to keep cool and safe.
"A few common sense measures can reduce heat-related problems, especially for the elderly, the very young and people with respiratory ailments, who are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures," said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. "If this extreme weather continues over an extended period, some communities may be setting up cooling centers to assist those seeking relief from the oppressive heat."
MEMA Spokesman Peter Judge shared more tips to help viewers beat the heat:
• Slow down, avoid strenuous activity. Do not try to do too much on a hot day.
• Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
• Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Attempt to stay hydrated.
• Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. They can actually dehydrate your body.
• Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals. Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic heat.
• Stay indoors as much as possible.
• If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate perspiration, which cools your body.
• Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air conditioned schools, libraries, theaters and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.
• Check with your community for information about possible local 'cooling centers'.
• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
• Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool itself. If you are outside, use sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
• Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
• Do not leave pets outside for extended periods. Make sure that pets have plenty of drinking water.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors.
In normal weather, MEMA says the body's internal thermostat produces perspiration that evaporates and cools the body. However, in extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain normal temperature, which may lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Anyone experiencing a heat-related medical emergency should immediately call 911 and, if possible, get to a cooler place.
Visit MEMA online for additional information.