Protect yourself, others from heat-related illness during record-breaking heat wave
Vancouver, Wash. – With temperatures expected to reach and exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday through Friday, Public Health officials are urging residents to take precautions.
“We encourage people to avoid or limit physical activity outdoors, take shelter in air-conditioned buildings, and drink plenty of fluids,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “Elderly people and the very young are especially vulnerable during periods of intense or prolonged heat. Don’t forget your pets.”
Public libraries, shopping malls and cinemas are examples of places where people can go to escape the heat. Some other air-conditioned spots in Clark County are listed below.
- Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Aug.1–3. Bring books, board games, puzzles, electronic devices ‒ even a picnic meal. More information: 360.342.5380.
- Marshall Community Center, 1009 McLoughlin Blvd., 5:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 5:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: 360.487.7100
- Firstenburg Community Center, 700 N.E. 136th Ave.; 5:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 5:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday; Sunday noon–6 p.m.
- Lobby of Firstenburg Tower at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Pl., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. More information: 360.514.2000
- Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday; noon–5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: 360.487.7111
- City of Washougal Municipal Complex
- City Hall, 1701 C St., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday
- Washougal Library, 1661 C St., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesday–Friday.
- Washougal Community Center, 1681 C St., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 4–6 p.m. Friday; 1–6 p.m. Sunday.
Fire District 6, which serves the Hazel Dell, Lakeshore, Felida, Salmon Creek Mt. Vista and fairgrounds areas, also invites people to drop into any station to escape the heat.
Prevent heat-related problems:
- Drink more water and other nonalcoholic fluids, regardless of your activity level.
- Limit intake of drinks with caffeine, alcohol or lots of sugar.
- Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned location. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to one of the locations listed above.
- Never leave a person, especially a young child, or a pet in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down, temperatures can rise rapidly in parked vehicles.
- Fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Cool off in the shower or bath or move to an air-conditioned place.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
If you must be out in the heat:
- Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
- For work, check on your co-workers and drink lots of water.
- Cut down on exercise. Avoid midday exercise and drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
- Rest often in shady areas.
- Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses; put on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Heat related illnesses:
Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs include: body temperature above 103° F; red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid pulse; throbbing headache; nausea; dizziness; and confusion.
If you see any of these signs, call 911. Place the victim in a bath or cool shower or spray the person with cool water from a garden hose. Do not give the person fluids to drink.
Less severe heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and muscle cramps. Signs are heavy sweating, paleness, weakness, headache and vomiting. Drink nonalcoholic, cool beverages. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last more than an hour.
CONTACTDr. Alan Melnick
Health Officer/Public Health Director