The National Weather service is forecasting a significant heat wave for the region starting Thursday, with the hottest temperatures predicted on Friday, said a county news release.
The Chester County Department of Emergency Services is coordinating the efforts of the local municipalities and other county departments in preparation. The county Health Department is monitoring heat-related hospital admissions, and the Department of Community Development has asked county shelters to extend their hours, allowing the homeless to stay out of the heat.
The Chester County Department of Aging has been coordinating local Senior Center’s extension of operating hours. The Department of Aging also operates a Severe Weather Emergency phone line to report a senior citizen who is experiencing heat-related difficulty: 610-344-4141. Fans and water are available for seniors by calling 610-344-6350.
The county urges residents to visit libraries, shopping malls and movie theaters to avoid the heat and to remember these tips for avoiding heat-related illness:
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages, regardless of thirst to avoid dehydration.
- Wear loose, light-colored cotton clothing.
- Stay in air-conditioning as much as possible.
- Do not run fans in a room with the windows shut; otherwise, you are only circulating hot air.
- Check regularly on those who are elderly or home-bound.
- Eliminate strenuous activity when it is hot.
- Eat more frequently with smaller portions.
- If you must be outdoors, wear sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 and avoid direct sunlight . Wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to create your own shade.
- Ask your physician if you are at particular risk because of any medical condition or medication you are taking.