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Take precautions to stay cool this summer

As Columbus, Ohio, braces for a heatwave with temperatures soaring into the 90s, everyone needs to stay safe, especially those without permanent shelter. Homeless individuals face unique challenges during extreme weather conditions, but some resources and strategies can help.

A heatwave is a prolonged period of scorching weather that may be accompanied by high humidity. In these challenging times, Southeast Healthcare stands with you and is dedicated to keeping people off the streets. We partner with multiple organizations throughout the city, all united in our mission to aid and support those experiencing homelessness.

Here are some practical tips for staying cool:

  • Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated should be your number one priority during a heatwave. Seek out public water fountains or facilities that offer free water and carry a water bottle to refill whenever possible. Avoid beverages with alcohol, caffeine, and sugar because they will dehydrate you.
  • Seek shade and cool spaces. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the hottest part of the day, individuals should try to stay in shaded areas or find air-conditioned spaces such as libraries, malls, or public buildings that welcome the public to stay cool. All 23 Columbus Metropolitan Library locations are open to the public for cooling during their regular hours this week, and the Main, Driving Park, Hilltop, and Northern Lights branches have extended hours for cooling.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Light-colored clothing and loose-fitting items help you stay cooler in warm weather. They allow air to circulate and help sweat evaporate, cooling the body. If possible, avoid heavy fabrics that can retain heat. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella can provide personal shade, reducing direct sun exposure.
  • Utilize a wet cloth. Carry a small towel or cloth that can be soaked in water and applied to the face, neck, and wrists. These areas have blood vessels close to the skin’s surface; cooling them can help lower overall body temperature. Re-wet the cloth as needed throughout the day to maintain its cooling effect.
  • Know the signs of heatrelated illnesses. Be aware of symptoms like excessive sweating, dizziness, headache, and nausea. In severe cases, heat stroke can occur, which is a medical emergency. Seek help immediately if you experience these symptoms.

Southeast Healthcare is here for you, offering essential resources for those dealing with extreme heat. Our medical services are ready to help manage heat-related health issues, and our mental health support is available to assist with any stress and anxiety that extreme heat can cause.

Remember, your health and safety are essential. Use the resources available in Columbus to stay cool and protected during this heatwave. Contact Southeast Healthcare for any assistance you need.

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