Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We're Having a Heat Wave.... Know Where to Stay Cool!

The last couple days, My mailbox has been in overdrive with alerts first of a heat and fire advisories, watches and now warnings.  I wanted to take a moment to break this down and share what this really means to you. 
Unless you have been living in a Cave the past few days it would be hard to miss the news of a few warm days starting today in the Greater Metro area. Today in the mid 90's and around 100 for Thursday and Friday followed up by another warm day on Saturday.   The biggest concerns are for Thursday and Friday when temps are suppose to top 100 degrees.   The high temps along with very low humidity, along with a few other factors tied into models have caused the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue not only and Excessive Heat Warning, but a Red Flag Warning for Thursday and Friday.

So what does an Excessive Heat Warning Mean?

This means, well it's gonna be a little warmer here in the Pacific Northwest over the next few days than we are used to.  In fact I heard them talking on the news last night, that is has been a few years since the Metro area has seen more than one consecutive day over the century mark.

Stay Hydrated:  The number one thing you can do during these hotter days is drink plenty of water.  As a person becomes more dehydrated, they become more susceptible to Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. 

Look Out for your Neighbors:  People over 65, young children, pets, and those working outside are the most susceptible to being overcome by a heat related illness.  Keep an eye out for someone who may be showing signs of becoming overheated.  Don't forget to check in on neighbors, especially it they fit in to one of the categories listed above.

Hang Out Where its Cool!  If you do not have A/C, there are numerous places you can go to cool down.  What a better way to beat the heat than a little shopping in an area shopping mall, or taking in that newest released hit movie, relaxing with a classic at your nearest library, and more.  Be creative Even Jump on C-Tran!  Take a bus ride to explore a new area of the city and cool down as needed.

Communities are becoming involved also:

Fire Station 31 in Brush Prairie will be open to allow folks a place to cool down. 

Vancouver Fire Department is opening up three locations open Thursday and Friday.   Cooling areas will be in the Community Rooms.  Drinking fountains and restrooms facilities will be available  They will be open from 12:00PM-8:00 PM (Station 9 will close at 6:00 PM on Thursday due to a conflict.) They are:
  • Station 4 (Ward  Road and Fourth Plain Blvd)
  • Station 7 (12603 NE 72nd Avenue) 
  • Station 9 (17408 SE 15th Street)

Vancouver Police Department will open the West Precinct at
2800  Stapleton Rd  12:00PM - 8:00 PM

The Washougal Fire Department will be setting up a large water sprinkler to cool off local kids. The fun will take place on Thursday, August 16th and Friday, August 17th from 11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. at Hamllik Park located at 4285 Addy Street.

C-TRAN will be providing SafeWatch Assistance.  This includes:
  • Assisting those new to the system with trip planning to an air conditioned location.
  • Allowing passengers to take shelter on C-TRAN's air conditioned buses and ride as long as desired provided they are not disruptive to safe operations.
Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation's Community Centers are perfect places to cool off. 
  • At both Firstenburg and Marshall, the lobby and game room areas are open to the public for free use. Fitness centers and pools will be available with paid entry either by drop in fee or membership. Marshall Community Center is fully air conditioned. However, please keep in mind that most of Firstenburg's open areas are ventilated with moving air, and are not air conditioned.
  • For those age 55 and better, the Luepke Senior Center next to Marshall offers air-conditioned activities to beat the heat. 
  • Visit Van - Clark Parks and Recreation and click on Centers at the top for hours, activity schedules, fees and other information for all three centers.
  • Along the Columbia River, Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center offers an air-conditioned opportunity to enjoy free hands-on exhibits for the whole family and toddler-size learning at Puddles Place. For a cool treat, the Water Center will be showing free Warren Miller films, depicting skiers and snowboarders in downhill thrills, from 1 to 5 p.m., today and Friday, when temperatures are expected to be at their hottest. There are no set show times, just running entertainment, so feel free to  drop-in. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 
PeaceHealth at Southwest Washington Medical Center will be opening the Firstenburg Tower at 400 NE Mother Joseph Place in Vancouver from Noon- 8:00 PM .  Please note this is an alternative location.  Pets are not allowed for Health Reasons.

Don't let the heat overshadow the Red Flag Warning we also have in the region.  This means conditions are ideal for fire danger.  High temps accompanied by low humidity and winds create conditions where even the smallest of sparks can easily ignite a wild fire that can quickly erupt.  Please be safe if working with equipment or anything that can easily create a spark. 

No comments: