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Staying Safe in Wisconsin's Heat


The heat and humidity will stick around all week, until cooler temps arrive this weekend.

According to the Innovative Weather forecast, the heat index should approach 100 in southern Wisconsin Wednesday. And, a heat advisory is in effect for the area until 7:00 pm on Friday.

This prolonged heat wave could pose health-related illnesses for anyone who does not exercise caution, but particularly in small children, older people and those with medical conditions.

A number of cooling centers, senior cooling centers and cool spots are open around metro Milwaukee. The Village of Shorewood has extended it's library's hours until 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday to offer people without air-conditioning a place of relief.

Here are a few tips from Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service to stay safe in hot weather:

  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within a matter of minutes.
  • Keep your living space cool or seek shelter at a cooling center. If you don't have an air conditioner, consider going to a community cooling center. If you stay at home, open windows to let air circulate. Basements and ground floors are often cooler than higher floors.
  • Check on elderly friends and neighbors who don't have air conditioning.
  • Limit physical activity. Plan outings or exercise for the early morning or after dark, when temperatures are cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat small meals. Don't wait for thirst, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot, heavy meals.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. And, add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool.
  • Don't stop taking medications unless your doctors tells you to. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.
  • Take a cool shower or bath. A shower or bath will work faster than air conditioning. Apply cool, wet rags to neck, head and limbs to cool down more quickly.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department also offers tips for keeping children and infants cool. And, the Wisconsin Humane Society lists ways to keep pets safe during oppressive weather.