Keeping Cool

Are you ready to sweat your butt off? It looks like we are going to have a bit of a heatwave over the next couple of days…

The National Weather Service has already issued a “Heat Advisory” from 1 pm Thursday, July 21st through 7 pm on Friday, July 22nd. The advisory warns that temperatures will climb into the 90’s with high humidity both Thursday and Friday. That means heat index readings could be around 100 degrees both afternoons. Prolonged exposure could be dangerous. Beware of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. (We will probably have air quality alerts for these days as well.)

Thursday night will be a warm one as well, with lows only in the mid to upper 70’s. It will also be very muggy.

Consumers Energy has offered up some tips to stay cool and save energy:

  • Set the air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees
  • Don’t cool unused areas
  • Block the sun (close curtains and blinds)
  • Avoid using appliances that generate heat (dryer, oven, dishwasher)
  • Tune up your air conditioner (probably too late for that at this point)
  • Use ceiling fans (and remember to have them running in a counter-clockwise direction as  you are looking at it from below. You should be able to feel the breeze.)

They have more information at

Kent County Emergency Management and Kent County Health Department have also release some information about the heat.

They warn not to leave children or animals unattended in parked vehicles.  It only takes a few minutes for temperatures in the car to reach 120 degrees or more. According to San Jose University, 19 children in the United States have died already this year from being left unattended in hot cars.

Check on the elderly…Older people have a difficult time cooling down. Check in with the elderly periodically throughout the day. Also make sure they drink cold, non alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. (That’s good advice for all.) If you wait to drink until you are thirsty…you may already be dehydrated. The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan may be able to provide fans or air conditioners for some residents 60 or older. (Call Senior Neighbors at 616-459-6019 to check on eligibility.)

Take care of your pets! Make sure they have fresh drinking water as well. Keep them indoors or provide a shady place for them. Keep them out of the sun. My dogs actually appreciate a few ice cubes placed into their water bowl throughout the day.

If you would like to read the complete New Release you can find it on the Kent County Health Department Facebook page.

For more information on staying cool and healthy in the heat, check out



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