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Surviving the Scorch - Tips During the Heat Wave

Woman and man sitting on a couch fanning themselves and trying to cool down with breeze from a fan

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has issued a solemn warning, casting a spotlight on the imminent arrival of an extraordinary heatwave that is set to grip the twin-island nation from September 15th to September 29th, 2023. As the thermometer steadily climbs, there's an 80% probability that temperatures will soar to a sweltering 34.0 °C or higher, particularly over Trinidad, for the next two weeks. Here are some tips for preventing heat-related illnesses:

1. Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.

2. Dress Appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-coloured clothing to help your body stay cool.

3. Stay in the Shade. Limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day (usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

4. Use Sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from sunburn, making you more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

5. Take Breaks. If you're working or exercising outdoors, take frequent breaks in a shaded or airconditioned area.

6. Cool Off. Use cooling towels, take cool showers, or use fans to help lower your body


7. Know the Signs. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, weakness, nausea) and heatstroke (high body temperature, confusion, rapid pulse), and seek medical attention if you or someone else exhibits these signs.

8. Check on Others. Keep an eye on elderly individuals, children, and those with chronic illnesses, as they are more vulnerable to heat-related problems.

9. Avoid Hot Cars. Never leave children or pets in a parked car, even for a short time, as

temperatures inside a car can rise rapidly.

10. Plan Outdoor Activities. If you must be outside in hot weather, plan activities for cooler parts of the day and take precautions to stay safe.

Remember, heat-related illnesses can be dangerous, so taking these precautions seriously is essential, especially during this heat wave.

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