Wilkes Barre, PA (July 19, 2011) – Extremely high temperatures and humidity are expected to continue through this week. UGI Utilities, Inc., Electric Division, strongly encourages all customers to stay healthy and safe and conserve energy during this heat wave.
What is a heat wave?
- The National Weather Service defines a heat wave for Northeastern Pennsylvania as three or more days in which the temperature reaches at least 90 degrees F.
- A heat warning is issued when life-threatening heat is occurring or is forecast.
- A heat advisory means high and potentially dangerous values of heat are occurring or highly likely.
- A heat watch means excessive heat is possible in the next day or two.
- Intense heat can be extremely dangerous, particularly for young children, the elderly, and people with health problems.
During a heat wave, please follow these recommendations:
- Older adults and people with chronic health problems should stay indoors and in the coolest available place.
- Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activity.
Signs of heat emergencies:
- Heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache, nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
- Heat stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature may be as high as 105 degrees F. If person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, the skin may feel wet; otherwise it will feel dry.
To avoid heat stress during a heat wave:
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and a hat or cap, keeping your neck covered. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas.
- Stay indoors, if possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sun.
- Remember: Electric fans don’t cool the air, but they will cool the body by helping sweat evaporate.
- If possible, work or play in the cool hours of the day.
- Stay out of direct sun for long periods.
- Drink extra fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
- Take regular breaks from activity.
To treat cramping or heat exhaustion/stroke:
- For cramping, stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place. Drink clear juice or a diluted sports beverage.
- For heat exhaustion, apply cool compresses and move the person to a cool location, preferably in an air-conditioned environment.
- For heat stroke, a life threatening situation, move to a cool location, apply cool, wet compresses and seek medical help immediately (call 9-1-1).
Conservation tips to consider include:
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or OFF when you are away for long periods of time.
- Keep drapes closed and shades drawn.
- Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit and check air and return vents on a regular basis to keep circulation air paths clear.
- Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
- If you are having trouble paying your electric bill or if your electricity has been shut off, contact UGI Electric to make payment arrangements so service can be restored: 1-800-276-2722.
- More information on programs available to help with electric costs are available www.ugi.com or on the PA Public Utility Commission Website: www.papowerswitch.com/help-paying-your-bill/
- Customers can also view the Summer Heat Wave fact sheet on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission website (www.puc.state.pa.us/). For additional energy conservation tips, please see (www.theenergyguyatugi.com) and the PA PowerSwitch website (www.papowerswitch.com).
- For heat-related emergencies, call 9-1-1
UGI Utilities Electric Division serves more than 62,000 customers in portions of Luzerne and Wyoming counties. Additional information about UGI’s Electric Division is available online at www.ugi.com.