Updated: Friday, 27 Jul 2012, 7:43 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 27 Jul 2012, 9:00 AM EDT
HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) - The WAVY News viewing area is under an excessive heat warning, so many area businesses are offering tips for the rising mercury.
As Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler said in his blog , a heat advisory is issued when the heat index rises to between 105 to 115 degrees for at least two hours.
In an excessive heat warning, the heat index rises to 105 degrees for two days in a row, or the heat index is above 115 degrees.
The City of Chesapeake is offering several cooling centers to keep people safe. All city library branches will be open until 6 p.m. and city community centers will be open until 7 p.m.
Norfolk is also offering cooling assistance for those in need. The program can help cover electric bills, an electric security deposit, repairs to an air-conditioning unit or heat pump, or to purchase or replace an air-conditioning unit.
Those wishing to apply must meet several requirements. Lori Crouch with the City of Norfolk said the guidelines include a monthly gross income of less than $1,211 for a single-person household, and must not exceed $2,498 for a family of four. The households must also include a child under six-years-old, a disabled individual or an elderly person.
To learn more information or to apply through August 15, call 757-664-6035.
The Peninsula Health District is offering several tips to keep safe in the hot weather. And while some might call them common sense or see them as too simple, they are life-saving.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said there were 10 heat-related deaths in Virginia just in 2011, which does not include the number of people who had to be hospitalized or sought medical help.
“During times of excessive heat, people need to pay attention and take additional precautions,” Dr. Nzinga Teule-Hekima of the Peninsula Health District said. “According to our statistics, almost 31 percent of the hyperthermia cases, which were related to extreme heat, involved individuals who were engaging in outside activity such as gardening. 26 percent of the hyperthermia cases were individuals who were inside without air conditioning.”
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. The Peninsula Health District suggests drinking two to four glasses of cool fluids every hour. Jeremy says to avoid alcohol or sugary drinks.
Wear light clothing and a hat to keep cool and reach for that higher SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn. While everyone knows sunburn is uncomfortable, it also prevents your body from keeping itself cool and causes your body to lose fluids.
Staying in an air-conditioned area is also a good idea when trying to beat the heat. If you do not have air-conditioning in your home, try going out to the mall or another place that would have some cool air. A fan can also be used, or head to the beach or pool for some relief in the water.
Check on the young, elderly and pets. Never leave a child or a pet in a hot car. The Peninsula Health District says temperatures inside a car can reach 150 degrees and could lead to death.
Did you know dogs don’t sweat? That’s why it’s very important for pets to stay cool by drinking lots of fluids. Always have water around for your family pet and add some ice cubes to keep it cool, especially if your pooch is outside.
If your job requires you to be outside or you have a project you must tackle, the Peninsula Health District suggests you use the buddy system. Make sure someone knows of your plans to be outside in the heat, as it’s possible you could become confused by a heat-related illness.
Jeremy also suggests eating small meals often, and encourages everyone to indulge in their favorite flavor of ice cream.
For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov .
To keep energy usage and electric bills down, Dominion Virginia Power suggests the following:
For more on keeping your energy bills down, visit www.dom.com .
Dominion Virginia Power also has a voluntary program called Smart Cooling Rewards .
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