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Surviving a Summer Heatwave

March 06, 2014

So far, summer weather in the US hasn’t been too bad. Sure it’s been hot and we’ve had a lot of rain and severe storms, but the last two to three years saw more than one record-setting heatwave throughout the country. This year, it’s been pretty tame. Until now, that is. As hot weather becomes more prevalent throughout the country, Compare.com has put together some tips for staying safe in hot weather as well as protecting your car from the summer heatwave.

Heatwave safety tips: staying safe in hot weather

We think of it largely as an inconvenience, but hot weather can be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the high temperatures of summer create conditions that cause more fatalities each year than any other type of severe weather. Throughout summer it’s a good idea to pay attention to each day’s weather forecast and plan appropriately. Additionally, you can follow these hot weather safety tips to keep yourself and others safe while we all suffer through the high temperatures of summer.

Don’t leave kids or pets or anyone in the car

This should go without saying, but every year there are numerous reports of children and pets being left in hot cars and the results are almost always horrific. Make a habit of checking your car before you leave it to make sure you have everyone and everything with you. Plan your day so that if you have errands to run, you can do them alone and not have to worry about what to do with your child or pet.

It’s also a good idea in general to stay inside during the heat of the day and it’s even smarter to avoid going out during the day during a heatwave. Small children, the elderly and animals are especially susceptible to the heat and being in a hot car could impact them long before it impacts you. Remember, even leaving the windows cracked may not be enough to prevent a tragedy from occurring in a heatwave.

Check on the elderly or neighbors without air conditioning

In a heatwave, we all need to look out for one another. It’s not uncommon to hear of elderly adults or those without air conditioning succumbing to high temperatures in weather like this. Be a good neighbor and check in on those you know might be at risk in these high temperatures.

Avoid working out outdoors

We know – you’ll just DIE if you can’t run that 5k on your lunch break. During a heatwave or even just a day with abnormally high temperatures, it’s a good idea to either skip your workout or to do it very early or very late in the day to avoid the heat and sun.

Protect your skin

In summertime, most of us like to get a tan and then show it off with clothes that cover less skin. Generally, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, when temperatures are high and the sun is strong, it’s best to cover up with lightweight clothing. It’ll save you from getting sunburned and could protect you from skin cancer later in life.

Stay hydrated

This goes for everyone, but especially applies to adults, teens, and children who play sports. Being active in summer is already an easy way to deplete your body’s supply of water and electrolytes. Extreme heat makes matters worse. Keep a bottle of water with you and drink it often. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol and drinks high in sugar because they can make you lose more water than you gain. We recommend reading this article for tips on how to stay hydrated in summer heat.

Protect your car from hot weather

Hot weather is tough on everyone and almost everything. Your car is no exception. Here are some tips to make sure that your vehicle is protected from the sun and heat during a heatwave.

  • Try to avoid parking in full sunlight. If it’s unavoidable, use sun visors in your front and rear windows to protect your car’s interior from high temperatures.
  • Check your car’s coolant and/or water levels. Keep them topped off to avoid overheating.
  • Change your transmission fluid prior to high temperatures moving in to avoid having your transmission overheat. Repairing a transmission is very pricey.
  • Plan long distance trips in summer to avoid the heat of the day. Plan a route that allows for a place to stop and stretch while passing the hottest hours. If possible, drive early in the morning or later in the day.
  • Avoid running your car’s air conditioner on a high setting if you’re sitting in traffic. It can put undue strain you the air conditioner and can reduce your car’s fuel economy.

Car Owner’s Guide

What to do in a hit and run? What steps can you take to prevent auto theft? What can I do to lower my auto insurance payments? Car owners get faced with a lot of questions. Read our Car Owners Guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car.

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