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July 27, 2009

Triple digits expected as heat wave scorches Portland area

"Senior centers and community centers across the region are opening during the day as cooling centers for at-risk populations during a Pacific Northwest heat wave," reports Erica Heartquist on “Any isolated seniors that you have in your neighborhood, if you know someone, give them a call, but more importantly, visit them and make sure they have everything they need to endure this heat wave,” Amber Kern-Johnson said.
Meanwhile, reports that, "Elm Court Loaves and Fishes Center in downtown Portland is serving as a cooling center for those age 60 and older. It is located at 1032 S.W. Main (see map) and will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday", their site reported this morning.
The following heat safety tips comes from the American Red Cross:
* Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
* Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
* Drink water! Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
* Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
* Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
* Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.
* Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR.
More on the effect of the heat on prescription medications here:

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