With triple-digit temperatures the weekend of June 26–27, and highs near 100° F. the following week, it’s important to keep your cool and keep cool.
With the expected spike in temperatures, it’s crucial to know what to do. Clacakamas County has compiled a list of tips and information you should know. Please keep in mind to continue practicing social distancing measures.
The county has also put together a list of cooling centers open from June 25-28 throughout the county in the communities of Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Oregon City, Portland, Sandy, Welches and West Linn.
Here are some tips to take care of yourself, those around you and pets as well as prepare for wildfire risks during the heatwave.
When it’s hot, you should:
· Drink water and bring extra bottles for yourself and others.
· Take care of yourself
· Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Talk to your doctor first if you are on water pills.
· Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
· Take a cool shower or bath.
· Use air conditioning or a fan.
· Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself, use it to create cross-ventilation.
· Wear lightweight and loose clothing.
· Avoid using your stove or oven.
· Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (3-7 p.m.)
Take care of those around you
· Check in on elders and vulnerable neighbors during warm weather — twice a day is best.
· Never leave a person, child, or pet in a hot car. Even when windows are cracked open temperatures can quickly climb to deadly levels. If you see a person, child, or pet in a closed car, call 911! You may be saving a life.
· Check regularly on how babies and toddlers, seniors, people taking mental health medications, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure are doing. See the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
· Share a fan.
· Invite a friend to a splash pad, movie, a mall, or museum.
If you must be out in the heat
· Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
· Rest often in shady areas.
· Wear a wide-brimmed hat
· Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) and reapply as directed.
· Consider packing a couple extra bottles of water, these could be used for you and your family or anyone you see that looks like they could use a cool drink of water.
· Know that the heat index (what the temperature feels like when humidity is involved) plays a role. When sweat isn’t able to evaporate from the body due to high humidity, the body has difficulty regulating its temperature and cooling itself off. The result? heat stroke, cramps and exhaustion are all likely to happen.
If you have a pet
· Provide plenty of shade and water.
· Never leave them in a car, even with the windows cracked open.
· Learn more tips from the Oregon Humane Society
Cooling down at county parks
When temperatures rise in the summer, people flock to Clackamas County parks seeking relief from the heat. County parks such as Metzler, Feyrer, Eagle Fern, Barton, Wagonwheel and Knights Bridge are great places for county residents to stay cool and enjoy outdoor and water-based recreation activities.
Be sure to remember that parking facilities at our parks can quickly fill up on hot summer days, particularly at popular park facilities along the Clackamas River. Some parks have reduced parking capacity this summer due to the need for social distancing. Barton Park in the Boring area and the Carver Boat Ramp on Springwater Road often reach full capacity in the summer months, especially on hot weekend days.
When this happens, county parks staff will close the area for a few hours or the rest of the day to help ensure the safety of all visitors. People may want to take alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion near these parks.
We encourage residents to visit other nearby county parks where less congestion occurs, such as Eagle Fern Park and Metzler Park. They both have areas to cool off in the creek, and offer features such as picnicking, hiking, and more.
Staying safe while near water is critical. Tips include:
· Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.
· Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.
· Learn swimming and water survival skills.
· Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life Jackets.
· Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
· Always swim with a buddy.
· Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or while swimming, diving or supervising swimmers.
High fire danger burn ban in effect through July 1
Clackamas Fire has enacted a high fire danger burn ban for all backyard, open burning and agricultural burning effective from June 23 to July 1.
Recreational fires, such as cooking, warming, fire pits, and campfires are allowed, but Clackamas Fire officials are strongly discouraging against them. Conditions will be re-evaluated on July 1.
Local fire officials are strongly discouraging using or lighting fireworks during a heatwave or burn ban.
Preparing your home to avoid wildfires
It’s important to prepare in order to limit or avoid damage to homes and structures due to wildfires.
· Remove dead or overhanging branches. During the windy conditions that exist during a wildland fire, flames, sparks and firebrands could travel from the tree to the roof of your structure.
· Remove leaf accumulation from your yard. Leaf accumulation provides fuel for a wildland fire.
· Remove leaf clutter from your roof and gutters. During a wildland fire, leaves on the roof and/or in the gutters could be ignited by flying embers.
· Remove tall, dry grasses. Tall, dry grasses provide a path for fire that can lead directly to a house.
· Remove “ladder fuels”. Prune tree limbs so the lowest is between 6′ – 10′ from the ground. Fire burning through tall, dry grass could ignite these limbs and climb to the top of the tree with relative ease.
· Check your generator and/or hose to be sure it is in good repair. Refuel garden equipment carefully. Yard equipment needs annual maintenance and proper fueling.
· Hoses develop leaks and deteriorate with age and exposure. During wildland fire season, fuel your lawn mower properly — away from dry, flammable grasses.
· Prune bushes and shrubs regularly. Remove excess growth as well as dead leaves and branches to decrease their flammability, and the threat they could pose during a wildland fire.
· Dispose of cuttings and debris promptly, according to local regulations
Sign-up for evacuation and other emergency notifications
We contact community members directly during a disaster to announce evacuations or other emergency information.
For the most updated information, including news and alerts, you can sign up to receive Public Alerts. If you have questions, you can call our public information center at 503-655-8224. You can also call 2-1-1 or go to www.211info.org.