The National Weather Service is predicting “dangerously hot conditions” across much of Western Washington through Wednesday evening.
Temperatures are forecasted to reach the high 90s and pass 100 degrees in some areas. A state Department of Health news release advises people to take precautions to stay cool and safe, both outdoors and at home.
Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. Since many Washingtonians do not have air conditioning, cooling off can be a challenge, particularly for people with health conditions, the elderly and infants.
Cooling centers are a key resource in protecting people from hot weather. Many free sites are being set up. Dial 2-1-1 to find cooling centers near you.
Aug. 14-16 there will be 10 Cooling Centers open to Kitsap residents across the county providing relief from the heat, including the Salvation Army from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 832 6th St. in Bremerton.
The Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Manchester, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale and Sylvan Way branches of the Kitsap Regional Library are available during their hours of operation. Also, the Hazelwood Family YMCA in Silverdale at 3909 NW Randall Way and the Bremerton Family YMCA at 2261 Homer Jones Drive are both open to the public from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you are not a member of the Y and mention that you are there for the cooling center, the guest fee will be waived. Additionally, many local businesses, including malls and theaters have air conditioning.
Kitsap Transit will waive fares for passengers needing bus rides to cooling centers. If you need a ride to a cooling center, Kitsap Transit’s buses may be an option for you, depending on how close you live to a bus stop.
- Stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
- Keep your home cool by closing windows and shades during daylight. Use your stove and oven less.
- Check on your friends, family, and neighbors. Assist those who are vulnerable or at higher risk, neighbors who are elderly or ill may need help.
- Stay hydrated.
- Make sure pets have protection from heat. Walk on grass instead of asphalt. Never leave people or pets in a parked vehicle.
- Take frequent breaks when working outdoors. Wear wide-brimmed hats, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and protect your skin from sunburn.
- Do not rely on a fan as your only cooling source.
- If you notice symptoms of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), act immediately. Move to a cooler location to rest for a few minutes and seek medical attention right away if you do not feel better.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes. Rivers and lakes are very cold and can result in shock, arrhythmias and drowning. Cold showers combined with hot body temperatures can cause hypothermia, especially for elders and children. Ease into temperature changes.
- Follow water safety tips if you go swimming or boating. Wear a life jacket.