Police and fire discuss tips to stay cool this summer

By: Mike Koury, Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published July 22, 2019


FERNDALE/ROYAL OAK — The summer heat has been barreling down on Michigan residents for the past couple of weeks, with seemingly no end in sight this season.

With temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees and humidity making the weather even worse, it’s important for people to stay cool and hydrated.

One way not to stay hydrated, Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown said, is to get drunk in the blazing sun.

“Drinking alcohol actually makes you hotter, so that’s not recommended,” he said. “It also impairs your judgment, so you might spend more time out in the heat than is good for you, and you don’t notice.”

Other beverages to avoid drinking excessively are pop, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, Clawson Fire Chief Troy Engel said.

“All of that stuff is diuretic drinks,” Engel said. “Drink water and drink more water. That’s how you stay hydrated. Drink enough water to make sure you have clear urine. If your urine is yellow, you need to drink more water.”

Bob Larkins, the emergency medical services coordinator for the Royal Oak Fire Department, advised to stay indoors with the air conditioning on. For those without air conditioning, several cities have set up cooling centers.

One way to stay cool in the city of Ferndale is using the Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois St., which also operates as a cooling center for those who need it. The center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.

Using the building as a cooling center is a good tool for those who don’t have air conditioning, as there’s little anyone can do if they don’t have air conditioning, Brown said.

“Fans don’t work over 90 degrees, really,” he said.

During the weekend of July 19-21, Royal Oak made available the Leo Mahany/Harold Meininger Senior Community Center, the Salter Community Center and the John Lindell Ice Arena as cooling centers. Local libraries and movie theaters are also ideal locations to escape the heat.

Larkins said the majority of the Royal Oak Fire Department’s summer welfare runs are due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. He advised to stay hydrated and seek shelter when doing outdoor activities, like visiting the zoo or performing yard work.

The signs of dehydration, Larkins said, include headaches, confusion, dizziness, weakness and blurred vision.

He said to make sure pets have water when outside and to never leave pets and children unattended inside hot cars.

While caring for yourself is important, Brown hopes people also will help with people who aren’t 100% able to take care of themselves and check on them while they’re battling the weather.

“Check on your neighbor,” he said. “See if you can help them out in any way and keep them out of this heat.”