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PORTLAND, Ore. — A heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.
Temperatures are expected to reach close to 100 degrees. On Wednesday, temperatures will cool to the mid 80s. The Fourth of July weekend should be even cooler.
On Monday, we sought out tips for staying busy but staying cool during a brief but uncomfortable rise in temperatures.
In Southeast Portland, Campfire Columbia Kids at Camp Namanu In the City already seemed well prepared, armed with spray bottles, squirt guns, water balloons and full water bottles.
And they were ready to adapt. Changing the familiar game of “Duck, Duck,Goose” to a more weather appropriate contest.
“We call it “Drip, Drip, Drench”, said Beth Paluga who’s in charge of heating and cooling the campers for the day. “You get a little bit of water, a little bit of water, and then a whole lot of water. If you get drenched you have to chase the other person around the circle.”
Of course they make sure nobody gets overheated, reminding the kids to stop and find some shade if they get too hot.
It’s a wise rule followed by the C2 Construction crew digging new telecommunications line trenches not far away from the camp.
“As the day goes on, we move a little slower. Take an extra break. Have another drink of water. Management is okay with it. The job has to be done whatever the weather,” said Jim Rehfeldt.
Along the Columbia River at the Mike Gleason Boat Ramp, metro crews were out early cleaning up garbage and scraping the beach to clear bottles and broken glass, expecting a big crowd.
Jamal Williams appreciates that.
“It’s nice to able to walk around without worrying about cutting your foot on something. And they have new garbage cans up and down the beach,” he said.
Williams says the beach looks like the infield of a baseball diamond before the game.
“It’s great to have a place like this so close to the neighborhood of MLK.”
Back at Camp NaMaNu in the city, the campers had no shortage of ideas to share for keeping cool:
“I take my water bottle and dump it over my head.”
“Turn my tree fort slide into a water slide.”
“Put my head into the freezer.”
“Popsicles. Lots of Popsicles.”
According to these little experts, four is the magic number. Five will make you sick.
But Tuesday may be a five popsicle day; likely the hottest day of the year so far in Portland, with a near record high in the upper 90’s.
Staying cool in the heat
- Keep the blinds closed.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. That sucks the cool air toward the ceiling.
- Turn on exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms
- Stay hydrated with plenty of cold water
- Use cold washcloths on your head and wrists if needed.
Preventing heat-related illness
- Perform the heaviest, most labor-intensive work during the coolest part of the day.
- Use the buddy system (work in pairs) to monitor the heat.
- Drink plenty of cool water (one small cup every 15 to 20 minutes).
- Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing (like cotton).
- Take frequent short breaks in cool, shaded areas – allow your body to cool down.
- Avoid eating large meals before working in hot environments.
- Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages (these make the body lose water and increase the risk of heat illnesses).
Keeping pets cool
The Oregon Humane Society shares these tips for keeping pets safe in the heat:
Do not take your pet in the car with you. The inside of a car heats up to dangerous temperatures in just ten minutes. On an 85-degree day, a car’s interior temperature can climb to 120 degrees in 20 minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Another concern is dogs riding in uncovered pickup beds. The sun heats up the metal truck bed and can burn your pet’s paw pads.
Do not leave pets unattended outside when it gets too hot – bring pets inside.
Keep pet activities to a minimum during the heat of the day, because they could overheat. Instead, walk and play with your pets in the cool of the evening and morning.
Do keep your pets inside the house, with plenty of water. The best place for your pet to be during the heat of the day is inside with you – especially if you have an air conditioner or fan.
If your pets must be outside, make sure they have shade and plenty of water to drink.
Get a kiddie pool and fill it with water for your dogs to splash and play in. They will love it.
Symptoms of heatstroke could include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark red tongue or gums, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Contact your veterinarian if your pet exhibits these symptoms.
If your pet is overcome by heat exhaustion, immediately immerse or spray the animal with cool running water (avoid cold water as that could cause shock) and continue until body temperature lowers. Give your pet water to drink and consult your veterinarian right away to determine if additional treatment is needed.
If you suspect an emergency situation has developed and you see someone else’s animal in immediate danger from the heat, first consult the owner if possible and then contact your local animal control agency or local police department.