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The original item was published from 7/13/2016 4:06:00 PM to 7/17/2016 12:00:08 AM.

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Posted on: July 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Extreme Heat Conditions – How to Stay Safe


During periods of extreme heat, know what to do to keep yourself and others safe.

Stay in the coolest place possible – indoors with air conditioning is ideal but if that is not possible, use fans and avoid direct sunlight in favor of shade. Limiting your exposure to sun and high temperatures reduces heat stress on your body so you can better tolerate higher temperatures when necessary.

The James City County Recreation Center, 5301 Longhill Road; Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland Street; and James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road; serve as Cooling Centers for the public during operational hours. Learn more about JCC Social Services cooling assistance program at

The elderly, and those who are sick or disabled, are more vulnerable to extreme heat and may be less sensitive to changes in conditions. Check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbors to ensure that they have access to air conditioning and are drinking plenty of water.

Take extra care to keep kids cool and hydrated, and be sure they take frequent breaks from playing outside. Infants and small children are especially sensitive to the effects of extreme heat and can become dehydrated much more quickly than adults.

Never leave a child or pet in a parked car for any period of time even with a window cracked. Temperatures will rise to lethally high levels rapidly. If you see a child or pet left in a vehicle call 911 immediately.

Please be sure pets kept out of doors are in shaded conditions with plenty of fresh water. Take them inside if possible.

When possible, complete outdoor chores and activities earlier or later in the day to avoid peak temperatures.

While outdoors take the following precautions:
- Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Stick with clear fluids and avoid anything with caffeine or alcohol.
- Wear loose, light clothing.
- Wear a hat to shield from the sun.
- Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn, which can lessen the body’s ability to release heat.

Stop what you are doing and find a cool place to rest and hydrate if you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms:
- severe thirst
- muscle cramps
- muscle weakness
- nausea, sometimes vomiting
- irritability
- headache
- cool, clammy skin
If symptoms don’t resolve after hydrating and resting in a cool place, seek medical attention.

Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 if you see these warning signs:
- confusion
- decreased responsiveness or loss of consciousness
- dry, hot skin with no sweating

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive:
- get the person out of the sun immediately.
- loosen or remove clothing and have the person lie down on their side.
- if alert, place the person in cool (not cold) bath water or give a cool sponge bath.

Media Contact: Kathleen Hale, JCC Emergency Management Administrator
757-564-2141; 757-345-1859;

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