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The Heat has no Prejudices or Jurisdictions this Summer

Here in the South, when it’s hot – it’s hot. There may be an occasional breeze that will rustle your hair and give you a moment’s relief from the heat, but besides that – it’s hot. Recently, it hasn’t just been the South that has been suffering from these high temperatures. If you’ve set foot outside practically anywhere in the US, then you have noticed the unusually hot weather we’ve been experiencing lately.

Normally the heat likes to “hang out,” if you will, in certain places within the US; lately, however, the heat hasn’t had any prejudices about where it likes to “hang out” and has been all over the place. These areas that rarely experience heat waves of this magnitude are struggling with the ability to cope with these temperatures.

Not to mention, these high temperatures are occurring on the brink of a band of unexpected storms that have caused an extremely large amount of people to be without power. So, these individuals are experiencing the heat without any way of cooling off. Due to these power outages and the high temperatures, certain buildings have been designated as cooling centers for people to stay and cool off. Living in a hurricane area, I am quite familiar with cities designating certain buildings as hurricane shelters for those who must evacuate their homes during these storms or even for individuals without homes.

This heat wave, although unpleasant, really isn’t too unexpected considering this past winter was unusually warm. Most people would like to attribute this heat to global warming, but that isn’t consistent with the fact that last year’s summer was only the ninth warmest summer on record. However, this year is proving to be the hottest summer on record considering numerous temperature records are being broken daily. It’s uncertain where exactly to place the blame for this unusually hot summer, but either way you slice it, the heat is quite unbearable.

For those of us who do still have power and are experiencing this immense and relentless heat, we are faced with the enormous responsibility of paying those outlandish prices for running our HVAC constantly. It’s a tough decision to make, whether or not to stay cool or to keep money in your pocket for some – as for others, it’s not a difficult decision at all, because being hot is a miserable state to be in.

Although there may be funny pictures about the heat, and people may be joking about the high temperatures, it really is no laughing matter. A number of recent deaths have been attributed to the heat. With temperatures reaching well into the 100 degree range, it’s no laughing matter when you do not have a working air conditioner or way to stay cool during the peak of the day.

Let’s only hope that this heat doesn’t last much longer and that we can get back to normal temperatures. But here is a list of things to keep in mind during this hot summer:

  • Stay hydrated. Even if you aren’t an avid exerciser or even if you don’t spend a large amount of time outdoors – still stay hydrated. Whether you know it or not, this heat is affecting your body.
  • Keep children indoors during the hottest times of the day. It may seem like the perfect time to hit the beach or go to the pool because it’s so hot, but it can actually be extremely dangerous to be outdoors during the peak of the day, especially for children.
  • Keep your air conditioner clean. This means change your air filter regularly and make sure there isn’t any debris hanging around your unit outdoors. If your filter becomes dirty or your unit becomes clogged, this could be irreparable to your unit.
  • Try to keep pets indoors. Just like your kids may become too hot during the peak hours of the day, so will your pets. Try to bring them in during the middle of the day to cool off and make sure they have clean and cool water every day.

If you happen to be suffering from this unpleasant heat wave, try to stay indoors as much as possible and catch up on some of those DVR’d programs you haven’t been able to watch. The heat will eventually subside and you can go back to the pool or doing yard work – but who really likes doing yard work anyway?

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