It’s not easy, but beating the summer heat is possible

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer is finally here bringing temperatures in the mid and upper-90s.

Temperatures will decrease only by 2 or 3 degrees over the next seven days with the possibility of a 20 percent chance of rain each day, according to the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Some residents are beating these hot summer days by drinking plenty of ice water, sitting under shaded areas, and simply staying indoors.

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In fact the hottest June on record for the surrounding regions was in 1952 at 95.2 degrees, weather service records show.

No heat shelters are open, which could mean good news involving a decrease in scorching temperatures, said Rhonda Abbott, interim director of the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency.

D’Auntre Stanberry said the best way to avoid the heat is by “staying in the house,” which might be an answer most people would concur.

According to Alabama Power officials, people can cut heating and cooling costs by refreshing air filters, adjusting thermostats, using efficient equipment and using fans when appropriate.

Setting a thermostat at 78 degrees or above and using fans in conjunction with air conditioning could save more energy and money during the summer. Performing activities such as mopping and washing dishes in the coolest part of the day and opening, using the kitchen exhaust fan to remove excess heat and moisture, and opening attics and crawl spaces are also suggestions by Alabama Power on staying cool for the summer.

When going outdoors, it’s always wise to bring a bottle of water to prevent dehydration during the summer heat and remember to avoid dark colors, which absorb more heat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list some summer tips to help stay cool, which include wearing lightweight, loose-fitted, light-colored clothing. Never leave anyone in a closed parked vehicle, cut down on exercise and always protect wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and sunglasses. Always check regularly on infants, people aged 65 or older and people who have a mental illness because these people are at a greater risk of heat exhaustion than others.