A heat wave is sweeping across the Midstate, posing potentially lethal conditions. According to the American Red Cross, extreme heat claims more lives than any other weather phenomenon.

Rob Walker, chief of operations at Warwick Community Ambulance, warns of the intense heat’s impact. “These scorching days really take a toll,” he remarked.

Staying hydrated is crucial. Recommendations include drinking electrolyte beverages like Gatorade. Walker advises watching for signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, thirst, or dizziness, which can escalate rapidly.

“If you experience cramping, nausea, or feel dizzy or lightheaded, these are signs of heat exhaustion, which can progress to heat stroke quickly,” Walker added.

Pets are also vulnerable. Dr. Tara Rabuffo from Lititz Veterinary Clinic emphasizes checking pavement temperature before walking dogs, as hot surfaces can burn their paws.

“During a heat wave, avoid leaving pets in vehicles, where temperatures can soar 20 degrees higher than outside,” Dr. Rabuffo cautioned.

To manage cooling costs during high temperatures, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) suggests practical steps:

  • Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce heat generation and power consumption.
  • Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to optimize cooling efficiency.
  • Each degree above 72°F on your thermostat can save up to 3% on cooling expenses.

With school out and summer activities in full swing, Walker reminds parents to monitor children closely. “Kids may not recognize heat-related illness,” he noted. “They may keep playing despite feeling unwell.”

Being mindful of these tips can help mitigate the risks associated with severe heat and ensure a safe summer for all.