Heat Wave Preparedness Tips

The image depicts a forecast map of upcoming weather in North West Oregon. The text on the top reads, “Forecast High Temperatures on Thursday. Portland, OR. Issued Aug 08, 2021. 12:37 PST. Coastal temperatures on the map range between 69-90 degrees. The interior of the state shows temperatures between 100-106.

By Joshua Baker

This week another heat wave is hitting the Pacific NorthWest. In the Portland area you can expect the forecast to be dangerously hot, with temperatures as high as 105 degrees in effect from noon Wednesday through 10 p.m. Saturday, with little overnight cooling. Friday is especially concerning as the heat builds up in the days before. This being said sensitive groups, those in hotter parts of town, and those without AC will be at greater risk. Though everyone is at risk when it’s 105° out. Sensitive groups would primarily include young children, seniors, people with health conditions, and those living or working outside are at greatest risk for heat illnesses. We recommend everyone sign up for public alerts.

Cooling center in the Portland and greater Multnomah area will be open this Wednesday. Use this interactive map that has information on where cooling centers are along with areas to swim and cool off.Anyone who needs transportation to a cooling center can dial 2-1-1. Right in Lloyd, the Holladay Park Fountain at NE 11th Ave & Holladay St will run from 5AM to Midnight.However, keep in mind that parts of the Willamette have harmful algae blooms at levels that are potentially deadly for pets. Toxin levels are currently too low to affect humans, but dogs are at high risk of death if they ingest the water. 

Other tips recommended to stay cool are drinking more water, avoiding alcohol and other sugary drinks, taking cold showers, using a fan, and avoiding use of an oven. Prolonged exposure to heat and sun can cause heat exhaustion, and symptoms may include rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing, heavy sweating, extreme dizziness, and nausea or vomiting. In these instances, action to take is removing excess clothing, making your way to a cooler area to rest, and taking a cold shower. 

A more serious illness to be aware of is heat stroke, which can lead to disability or death. Symptoms of concern are 103 degree (or higher) fever, confusion, rapid pulse, loss of coordination, hot dry skin or profuse sweating, throbbing headache, and/or seizures.