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Ways to handle the heat

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 12:00 AM

Hot and humid weather conditions are expected in our area over the next few days. These weather conditions can cause heat stroke and worsen some chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death.

Updates on extreme weather conditions are available from the National Weather Service (

To avoid being overcome by the heat, take the following precautions:

  • Avoid strenuous activity and exercise during the hottest part of the day. Instead limit these activities to the early morning hours or in the evening—when the temperatures tend to be lower.
  • Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • Stay out of the sun and seek air-conditioned settings. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor of your home, keep the window shades or blinds closed to block the sun, or go to an indoor space with air conditioning (such as libraries, malls or supermarkets).
  • Take a cool shower or bath using tepid water. Sudden temperature changes may make you feel dizzy or sick.
  • If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor (SPF) rating of at least 15 and a hat to protect your face and head. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid direct sun on your body.
  • Recognize the signs of heat illness. If you or someone you know has the signs of heat illness get to a cool place, remove extra clothes, and drink lots of water. If they don't get better, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away.
  • Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or other vehicles 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 minutes. Leaving the windows open is not enough to keep the vehicle cool.
  • Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially the elderly, infants and young children or others with special needs.
  • Make sure there is enough water and food for pets and limit their exercise during periods of extreme temperatures.

Places to go to beat the heat:

For transportation to a congregate program in Albany County call (518) 437-5161.
For a senior center and senior meal site near you call Albany County Connects at (518) 447-7177.

If you or somebody else shows signs of heat stroke,
take immediate action and call 911.

LIBRARIES are good places to go to sit and cool off. Here is a list of libraries around Albany County and their summer hours:

  • Albany Public Library Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch: Monday & Wednesday 10:00am–6:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday Noon–8:00pm, Friday Noon–6:00pm, and Saturday Noon–5:00pm
  • Albany Public Library Bach Branch: Monday & Wednesday 10:00am–6:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday Noon–8:00pm, Friday Noon–6:00pm, and Saturday Noon–5:00pm
  • Albany Public Library Delaware Branch: Monday & Wednesday 10:00am–6:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday Noon–8:00pm, Friday Noon–6:00pm, and Saturday Noon–5:00pm
  • Albany Public Library Howe Branch: Monday & Wednesday 12:00pm–8:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am–6:00pm, Friday Noon–6:00pm, and Saturday Noon–5:00pm
  • Albany Public Library North Albany Branch: Monday & Tuesday 10:00am–6:00pm, Wednesday & Thursday Noon–8:00pm, Friday 12:00pm–6:00pm, and Saturday 10:00am–3:00pm
  • Albany Public Library Pine Hills Branch: Monday & Wednesday Noon–8:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am–6:00pm, Friday 12:00pm–6:00pm, and Saturday 12:00am–5:00pm
  • Albany Public Library Washington Avenue Branch: Monday–Thursday 10:00am–8:00pm, Friday 10:00am–6:00pm, and Saturday 10:00am–5:00pm
  • Altamont Free Library: Monday–Thursday 9:00am–8:00pm, Friday 9:00am–5:00pm Sat. 10:00am–1:00pm, and Sunday, 2:00pm–5:00pm
  • Berne Public Library: Monday & Thursday, 2:00pm–8:00pm, Tuesday 10:00am -8:00pm, Wednesday Noon–8:00pm, Friday 2:00pm–6:00pm Saturday 9:00am–3:00pm
  • Bethlehem Public Library: Monday–Friday 9:00am–9:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–5:00pm
  • Cohoes Public Library: Monday & Wednesday 10:00am–8:00pm, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10:00am–5:00pm, Closed Saturday.
  • Colonie Town Library: Monday–Thursday 9:00am–8:00pm, Friday 9:00am–6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am–5:00pm
  • Guilderland Public Library: Monday–Thursday:9:30am–9:00pm, Friday 9:30am–7p.m., Saturday:9:30am–5:00pm
  • Menands Public Library: Monday & Wednesday Noon–8:00pm, Tuesday and Thursday 5:00pm–8:00pm, Friday 12:00pm–5:00:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–1:00:00pm
  • RCS Community Library - Ravena:Monday–Thursday 9:00am–8:30pm, Friday 9:00am–5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–1:00pm
  • Rensselaerville Library: Closed Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am–1:00pm & 3:00pm–8:00pm, Wednesday 10:00am–1:00pm & 3:00pm–6:00pm, Friday 3:00pm–7:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–2:00pm
  • Voorheesville Public Library: Monday–Thursday 9:30am–9:00pm, Friday 9:30am–6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am–5:00pm
  • Watervliet Public Library: Monday & Wednesday 12:30pm–8:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am–8:00pm, Friday 2:00pm–6:00pm, Saturday 11:00am–3:00pm
  • Westerlo Public Library: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday 2:00pm–7:00pm, Wednesday & Saturday 9:00am–2:00pm


Heat Stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if the individual is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. A cold bath or sponge can provide relief and lower body temperature.

Heat Exhaustion: While less dangerous than heat stroke, heat exhaustion poses health concerns and it most often occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, move the victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.

Sunburn: Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool itself. Signals include redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches can occur. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases. To protect yourself, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (SPF) of at least 15.

Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms are often caused by heavy exertion. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping. Remember to hydrate often while exercising or working outdoors.

Heat Rash: Skin irritation that looks like a red cluster of:00pmles or small blisters. Try to move the person to a cool place, keep the affected area dry, and have the person use talcum powder to increase comfort.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy