We love the summer months here in Illinois, but those same high summer temperatures we look forward to can cause heat-related illnesses for many Illinoisans. Summer is a time for peak electricity usage from air conditioners, which can mean high electricity bills and a greater risk of blackouts.
The good news is that there are many ways that you can prepare ahead of time for this possibility, and AARP Illinois wants to make sure you have all the resources you need to keep yourself, your family and your neighbors safe in the event of electricity blackouts this summer.
AARP Illinois Director Phillipe Largent urged residents to take heat-related hazards seriously and to be vigilant in checking on older residents, neighbors, and the medically vulnerable during the summer months.
"During the summer, it is especially important that we look out for our neighbors, and especially those with chronic medical conditions,” said Largent. “That phone call, that visit or offer of help, could save a life. It is so important that Illinoisans take the appropriate steps to help keep themselves, and those they care for, safe this summer.”
Illinoisans can reduce electricity use by setting the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher; turning off lights and pool pumps; avoiding use of large appliances such as ovens, washing machines and dryers; and turning off or unplugging unused electric appliances.
Steps to staying safe during extreme heat:
Thank According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, symptoms of heat exposure complications may include:
According to the IDPH, here's how to help a person showing severe symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Staying in an air-conditioned area, either at home or in a public place such as a mall, library or recreation center, is the most effective way to combat heat. If air conditioning is not available:
The IDPH also says: Children are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated. Children should be encouraged to drink fluids frequently, especially water, and wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
Check on children often, especially if they are outside in high temperatures.
Other heat precautions suggested by the IDPH include:
The IDPH advises to check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat when taking prescription drugs, especially diuretics, antibiotics, or antihistamines.
Keep in mind that people with chronic medical conditions are more vulnerable to extreme heat. Here's why:
Stay Alert to Cooling Centers in Your Area
Local public health agencies are an important resource. Call 2-1-1 for information in your areas. In an emergency, call 9-1-1. Here is a list of Chicago-area cooling centers.
Also, the American Red Cross maintains a list of open shelters on the Red Cross website. For more information from the Red Cross, please call 1-800-733-2767.
This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time
Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR