ALBANY — Get ready for a sizzling weekend.

Extreme heat is expected to settle over New York this weekend, and officials are warning about the potential health risks.

The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a Heat Advisory from noon Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday for the entire North Country.

The heat index is 96 to 102 degrees, due to temperatures in the lower to mid 90s and dewpoints in the lower 70s.

 

MORE SWIM TIME

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging people statewide to take precautions during the heat wave, which is expected to last through Monday.

State parks with swimming facilities will have extended hours, and some regions have cooling stations available.

"I urge New Yorkers to take any and all necessary precautions this weekend against extreme heat," Cuomo said in a news release.

"State parks with swimming facilities will be open later, and if air conditioning is not available to you, there are public cooling stations all throughout the state.

"Be sure to check on neighbors and limit outdoor activity to ensure that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy through the extreme temperatures."

 

HEALTH RISKS

Hot weather increases the risk of heat stress and heat-related illness.

People who are more susceptible — young children, the elderly, those who exercise outdoors, people involved in vigorous outdoor work and those with respiratory diseases such as asthma — are advised to take steps to stay cool.

 

LOWER ENERGY USE

The State Department of Public Service has activated its Peak Load Reduction Program for all state agencies between 1 and 6 p.m. Friday.

The New York Independent System Operator has suspended work on transmission lines of 115kv and above for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and other utilities are halting planned outage work "to ensure enough electric capacity is available to meet customer needs," the Governor's Office said.

 

 

STAYING COOL

The release notes that heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state offered these safety tips:

• Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun's peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

• Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss. Eat small meals, but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods.

• Drink at least two to four glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty.

• Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

• If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine or go to a public building with air conditioning

• If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.

• When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.

• Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle during periods of intense summer heat.

Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minute.

• Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs.

• Make sure there is enough food and water for pets

 

SIGNS OF TROUBLE

Prolonged exposure to the heat can be potentially fatal.

People should call 911 for anyone with signs or symptoms of heat illness, which include headache, light headedness, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting.

 

Email Lois Clermont:

lclermont@pressreblican.com

Twitter: @EditorLois