Dealing with the Heat Wave

OVERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Emergency crews in Wyoming County are preparing for calls they are likely to receive in this heat wave.

"Probably going to see a lot of heat exhaustion, maybe even leading into heat stroke, so our crews throughout the county will be ready to go for things like that," says Wyoming County's Emergency Management Director Gene Dziak.

Experts say it's important for everyone to stay hydrated and wear light clothing.

Emergency officials in Wyoming County tell Newswatch 16 it is important for folks who are going out on the water to stay cool during the heat wave, to remember to stay safe.

"Wear PFDs, they save lives," says Dziak. "You know we have our water rescue here ready to go, but try to do it safely."

Some folks are flocking to place like Gay's True Value in Tunkhannock to get air conditioners to stay cool inside.

"Even when it was colder in the beginning of the week, we saw them flying out of here," says store owner Dan Gay. "So, I think people have been prepping for it and getting ready."

Shoppers are taking it in stride.

"Just another day, slows me down a little bit that's all doesn't bother me," says Bill Woronk from Harveys Lake.

"All you have to do is know your limitations, make sure you stay hydrated is one of the most important things, and you know, take it easy, stay in the shade if you can," adds Richard Silva from Nicholson.

Utility companies like PPL are confident the power grid is strong enough to handle the strain from appliances like air conditioners, but officials say it's important to be prepared either way.

"You know if the power goes out because of the extensive heat, you need to be prepared for that -- flashlights with batteries," adds Dziak.

As well as generators and canned goods are recommended.

UGI recommends avoiding heat stress and to using energy wisely by following these guidelines:

  • Drink cool water. If you are working in a hot environment, you should drink cool water frequently in small amounts, totaling one cup every 20 minutes. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated beverages, which can cause dehydration.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Change clothing if it gets saturated. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen to exposed areas when outside.
  •  Older adults and people with chronic health problems should stay indoors and in the coolest available place.
  • Stay indoors, if possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sun. Do not spend long periods of time in the direct sun.
  • If possible, work or play in the cooler hours of the day.

To help save energy and money, PPL recommends customers:

  •  Close blinds, drapes and shades during the day to block the sun.
  • Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances – like the stove and dishwasher – during the day.
  •  Use ceiling fans or box fans to help stay cool. It costs much less to move air than to cool it.
  • Keep air conditioner filters clean and be sure vents are not blocked by furniture or other objects.
  • Caulk gaps around doors and windows to prevent hot air from entering your home.
  • Create air flow in a two-story home by opening a downstairs window on the shady side of the home and an upstairs window on the hot side of the house.

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