Mayor Bill Finch and Greater Bridgeport Transit officials urge City residents to come to the Greater Bridgeport Transit Main Bus Terminal at 710 Water St., to cool off on Tuesday, July 17, and Wednesday, July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The American Red Cross will provide cold water.

“With the temperatures expected to reach into the mid-90’s today and tomorrow, coupled with high humidity it has the potential to be some of the hottest temperatures yet this summer,” said Mayor Finch. “I urge anyone who needs a place to cool off to come to the bus terminal or visit a local senior center or one of our libraries to stay cool during the next couple of days,” said Mayor Finch.

Mayor Finch urges residents to take property precautions, stay hydrated, wear loose fitting clothing, limit outdoor activities, and check on friends or loved ones who might be homebound to make sure they are okay

More information about how to stay cool in hot weather can be found on the City of Bridgeport web site under Emergency Management/Hazards.

Here are some prevention tips to stay safe in the heat:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat stress, and heat cramps.  These are described below.
  • Have the phone number of your family doctor clearly posted next to your phone (and stored in your cellular phone).
  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.  Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him/her how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.  Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.  If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the movies, shopping mall, public library, or a friend’s house/apartment with air conditioning–even a few hours spent in an air conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.  Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.  Check regularly on:

Ø  Infants and young children

Ø  People aged 65 or older

Ø  People who have a mental illness

Ø  Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.
  • If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to early morning and evening hours.  Cut down on exercise.  If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.  Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

It is important to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat stress, and heat cramps, and to have an action plan so that you will know what to do if you see these signs and symptoms:

  • HEAT STROKE is the most serious heat-related illness and is accompanied by hot, dry skin; shallow breathing; a rapid, weak pulse; and confusion.  Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit and could render the victim unconscious.

Health officials advise that if you believe that someone has heat stroke, call for emergency medical treatment or have the person taken to the hospital immediately.  While waiting for emergency personnel move the victim to a cool area out of direct sunlight; sponge bathe with cool water; and fan.  If possible, relocate the person to an air-conditioned room.

  • HEAT EXHAUSTION is characterized by heavy sweating, weakness and cold, pale, clammy skin.  There may also be fainting and vomiting.  If someone appears to be suffering from heat exhaustion, they should be moved to a cool area out of direct sunlight, sponge bathed with cool water and fanned.  Also, give sips of water to the individual every 15 minutes for one hour

HEAT CRAMPS are characterized by painful spasms, usually in muscles of the legs and abdomen and by heavy sweating.  To relieve heat cramps, apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage the muscles.  As in the case of heat exhaustion, give sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour.

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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