A heat advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when extreme temperatures occur in a given area. When the heat index reaches 105 degrees and lasts for 3 hours or more, local weather channels will start announcing a heat advisory.
Extreme sudden rises in temperature or even hot temperatures that hold for several hours or days are very dangerous. They can even be life threatening in certain circumstances, especially to infants, the elderly, or anyone with an illness.
Surviving a Heat Advisory
1. Be prepared even if your region usually has mild summer temperatures. Watch your local weather and know when these extreme conditions may be in your area. Being prepared for a heat advisory will help make it more bearable.
Keep easy to fix food items on your shelves and use those during a heat advisory. Canned ham, tuna or chicken can quickly be turned into a salad. Do not use your cook stove any more than necessary. Stock the fridge with ice tea, fruit drinks or lemonade. Make sure you have plenty of ice cubes on hand.
2. Check the filters on your air conditioning unit. Always keep a supply of furnace or air conditioning filters on hand. Change the filters if necessary and hose down the sides of an outside central air unit. Dust, leaves and grass clipping will clog the airflow, making your unit work harder than it has to.
Make sure your AC unit is not blocked by bushes, weeds, or even a kid’s toy propped against it. The unit needs all of the air flow it can get to work in extreme temperatures.
3. Keep as many electronics off as possible during a heat advisory. Household lights and appliances generate a lot of heat. Turn off televisions, game consoles and computers when they aren’t being used. Use fans to help circulate the air conditioning in your home.
Keep children (and adults!) from running in and out of the house. Every time the door is opened a wave of heat will rush in causing your air conditioner or fans to have to work harder. Play a board game with children or read them a story. Set yourself up where you get a good breeze from the air conditioner or the fan.
4. Avoid doing laundry during a heat advisory. The dryer will only heat up the house and add more humidity to the air. If you must do laundry, consider hanging the clothes outside. Hang them early in the morning before the temperatures get to hot. If you cannot hang the clothes outside, only use the dryer at night, when temperatures have cooled off.
5. Cover your windows to keep the sunlight out. You probably hung those sheers just so you could enjoy the sunshine. You will not enjoy it during a heat advisory, so cover them up. You can drape sheets, towels or even light blankets over the curtain rods to seal out the hot sunlight. It will not be fashionable, but it will be cooler.
6. Avoid prolonged periods outside. If you must be outside, do so in short periods of time. If you have yard work, do it in the early morning hours or in the evening. Arrange your schedule so that you can be in doors during the afternoon, when the heat advisory temperatures are at their highest.
Sources: My own experiences! Plus…