There’s a lot to look forward to this weekend in Upstate New York; between the Rochester Pride Parade and the Ithaca Grassroots festival, we’re planning on spending a lot of time outside. Unfortunately, the heat might try to ruin your summer fun as temperatures soar into the 100s.
The heat and humidity are expected to be so bad that Rochester City Mayor Lovely Warren has officially announced a heat emergency for Friday and Saturday, making it the third excessive heat warning ever issued for the region.
According to weather reports, the heat index is supposed to reach a high of 108 degrees Fahrenheit in some locations. The last time we experienced such temperature highs was back in 1936.
In light of the new warning, the city’s emergency plan is preparing public buildings to provide relief from the heat. The Democrat and Chronicle notes that some pool hours will be extended, libraries will serve as cooling centers, and hydrants will be opened to beat the heat.
While we can expect a few spotty showers throughout the region, these cooling events won’t be enough to offer relief from sweltering temperatures.
Local area doctors note that the heat can be particularly damaging for older people and those with compromised immune systems.
“For people who are elderly or have underlying medical problems… the consequences can be more severe. The heat can cause their medical conditions to be exacerbated or for them to become more ill in a very rapid manner,” explains Dr. Mike Kamali who serves as the chair of the URMC Department of Emergency Medicine.
Kamali recommends that people stay in air-conditioned locations as much as possible this weekend, especially if you’re out and about. It might also be worth investing in a new HVAC system for your home; the average house has nearly doubled in size since the 1950s, making it more difficult to keep cool. However, energy-efficient models have aided in keeping cool air in and hot air out.
While these increasingly high temperatures might not be enough to make you one of the 45 million people who move each year, it’s certainly enough to make you stay in your Rochester home. But if you’re planning on camping, attending Rochester Pride, or visiting Grassroots, you can follow these helpful to stay cool.
Drink plenty of water
This point might seem obvious, but its importance bears repeating: without enough water, you might find yourself suffering from heatstroke or worse. It’s recommended that you drink at least two liters of water each day, but you’ll need to drink even more in extreme heat to replenish the water that your body loses through sweat.
“When you start to feel hot, you start to sweat,” continues Kamali. “Your body is trying to get rid of excess heat and usually, you can do that as long as you’re staying hydrated and making attempts to cool yourself off.”
Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and try to heat hydrating, healthy foods throughout the day. These include grapes, watermelon, and other fruits with high water content. It’s recommended that you already eat five servings of vegetables each day, so try to avoid particularly salty or heavy foods when you’re spending time outside. Keep in mind that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Stay out of the sun
Find shade whenever possible, whether that means idling under a tree or wearing an oversized hat. This will help keep you cooler and prevent the possibility of sunburn.
Dress in loose-fitting clothing
While you might not be able to access air conditioning in the middle of the Pride parade, it’s vital that you do whatever you can to stay cool. One way to do that is by wearing, light, loose-fitting clothing. Light colors will help reflect the heat from your body while the loose fit will help wind cool your skin. You can also try wetting your clothing to stay cooler since the damp patches will catch the wind and further cool you down.
Know the signs of heatstroke
The young and elderly are at particularly high risk for heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Here are the symptoms you should watch out for when you’re worried a loved one is suffering from the heat:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and dizziness
- Very hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Loss of consciousness
If you’re spending too much time in the sun, try to get to a pool or other body of water after your festival. Pools with glass finishes maintain their integrity indefinitely, making this a great option for apartment buildings, public watering holes, or your local gym. If you’re by the lake, don’t hesitate to take a dip. Just be sure to layer on the sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Remember that the Pride Parade starts at 1 PM on Saturday, right when the sun is at its peak. If you have to venture outdoors this weekend, try following these tips to stay safe. Rochester may be under a heat warning, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your summer fun.