High temperatures are coming: Are you prepared?

Posted by | Jen Masotja, Director of Disaster Services

With Metro area temperatures soaring this week, it’s important to stay cool and hydrated. Review the information below and share it with friends, neighbors and clients.

Cooling Centers

Cooling centers will be open from 1:00PM to 9:00PM beginning Friday, June 25, through at least Monday, June 28, at the following locations:
  • Oregon Convention Center: 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
  • Sunrise Center: 18901 E Burnside St.
  • Arbor Lodge: 1952 N. Lombard St.

Anyone who needs transportation support should call 2-1-1. Our Housing Transitions Program also has bus tickets availabl for people who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Take care of yourself

  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Talk to your doctor first if you are on water pills.
  • Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Use air conditioning or a fan.
  • Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself, use it create cross-ventilation.
  • Wear lightweight and loose clothing.
  • Avoid using your stove or oven.

Take care of those around you

  • Check in on elders and vulnerable neighbors during warm weather – twice a day is best.
  • Never leave a person, child or a pet in a hot car.
  • Check regularly on how babies and toddlers, seniors, people taking mental health medications and people with heart disease or high blood pressure are doing. See the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • Share a fan.
  • Invite a friend to a splash pad, movie, a mall or museum.

If you must be out in the heat

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) and reapply as directed.
  • Consider packing a couple extra bottles of water, these could be used for you and your family or anyone you see that looks like they could use a cool drink of water.

If you have pets

  • Provide plenty of shade and water.
  • Never leave them in a car.
  • Never leave them chained up or locked up with no shade.

Health Related Concerns

Hot weather can strain the heart, worsen asthma, emphysema and other conditions and make diabetes and hypertension harder to manage.

If you believe someone has heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get them water and into a cool place immediately. If symptoms persist, or they lose consciousness, or have trouble breathing, call 911.

Heat Stroke

This is a condition that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature, and can cause death or permanent disability. Symptoms include:

  • High body temperature
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Throbbing headache
  • Seizures, coma

First Aid

  • Request immediate medical assistance.
  • Move the worker to a cool, shaded area.
  • Remove excess clothing and apply cool water to their body.
  • Rest in a cool area.
  • Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

Heat Exhaustion

This is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through sweating. Symptoms include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Slightly elevated body temperature

Additional Resources

Multnomah County Maintains a “Help for when it’s hot” page that is full of helpful information. Resources include “Take Care of Yourself” posters which are available in eight languages in addition to other posters with specific tips for older adults, children, athletes, outdoor workers and pet owners.

Related

Refugee Employment Services Program (ESP) gives newly settled Oregonians hope and stability after hardship

Going on its fifth year now, the Refugee Services Employment Services Program (ESP) is a rapid employment program for newly arrived refugees. Rapid employment means that refugees in this program must find a job within six months of their arrival in Oregon. During that time, Catholic Charities covers their bills, including their electric and water…

Disaster preparedness tips: Sheltering in place and in shelters

In a disaster you may be asked to either evacuate or shelter in place. In the excitement of an emergency, focusing on what you need to do can be difficult. Here’s how to keep your family safe: