PROVIDENCE, RI – With Rhode Island experiencing extreme heat over the next few days, Governor Dan McKee is alerting Rhode Islanders to the availability of cooling centers statewide and is reminding people about measures to take to stay healthy and safe.
“Extreme heat can be a serious health concern for anyone. However, it’s particularly dangerous for younger children, older adults, and people with underlying health issues,” said Governor McKee. “With the temperatures we are seeing, people should be checking on each other, staying well hydrated, limiting their exposure to the heat, and watching for signs of heat-related illness.”
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for much of Rhode Island for Thursday, July 27 through Friday, July 28. A heat advisory goes into effect when the temperature and the humidity make it feel like 95°F-99°F for two days in a row or when the temperature and humidity make it feel like 100°F-104°F for one day.
Many cities and towns have cooling centers open to those who need shelter during periods of extreme heat. To find a cooling center, call 2-1-1 or visit the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency website.
When you are outside during extreme heat
Normally, when you get hot, your body cools itself by sweating. But when it is very hot and humid, sweating isn’t enough, and your body temperature can rise very quickly. High temperatures can cause heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps.
- Stay out of the direct sun. Try to stay in shaded areas.
- Wear a hat with a brim and wear sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) for protection.
- Drink plenty of water
- Pace yourself when you exercise.
- Provide plenty of water for pets and leave the water in a shaded area.
- Schedule outdoor events early in the morning, when it is cooler, and the air quality is better.
- Wear light-colored and light-weight clothing.
When you are inside during extreme heat
- Use air conditioning or fans, windows, and shades or curtains to keep your house cool.
- Take cool showers or baths. Avoid cooking in the oven or on the stovetop when the day is at its hottest.
- Drink plenty of water
- Never leave a child, pet, or older adults in an unattended car during periods of extreme heat.
Watch for warning signs
Check on friends, family, and neighbors during periods of extreme heat. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting, tiredness; dizziness; or headache. If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place; put a cool, wet cloth on their body; and have them sip water. Call medical help if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.
Heat exhaustion in pets
- Watch for bright red, gray, purple or bluish gums, excessive drooling, dry nose, excessive panting, weakness, etc.).
- Lower the body temperature (place near a fan, take to a cooler location, wetting with cool water), apply water around ears and paws and contact a veterinarian.
More information about extreme heat and the prevention measures people should take is available on from the Rhode Island Department of Health.