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Top 10 Tips to Beat the Heat

July 10, 2009

Forecasters are saying weekend temperatures could hit over 116 degrees in Phoenix. This news leaves even life-long Phoenicians feeling the burn.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips from to avoid heat-related illness:

  • Drink! Never depend on thirst to signal when and how much to drink. Instead, drink five seven ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish the necessary fluids in the body.
  • Limit exercise or outdoor activity between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its peak intensity. If active during this time frame, drink a minimum of 16 to 32 ounces of water each hour
  • Avoid “heat hangover” Continue to drink fluids even after strenuous activity. This will enable the body to maintain optimum hydration and help prevent the after effects of heat exposure such as headaches and fatigue.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar as they dehydrate the body.
  • Never leave infants, children or pets inside a parked vehicle – 90% of the temperature rise occurs within 15 minutes of closing and leaving the car.
  • Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may increase the risk of heat-related illness. Consult your physician if you have questions.
  • When outdoors, wear a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15. Apply at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors and re-apply as necessary.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing when outside.
  • Take advantage of free air conditioning! Visit shopping malls, movie theaters or the library to escape the heat for a few hours.
  • Rest frequently in shady areas so that the body’s temperature has a chance to recover when outdoors. 

Now imagine following those tips when you have no access to water, no shade or are actually living out of your car.  According to a recent article from

“Heat is more than a matter of comfort in the Phoenix area. It kills more people than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Dozens of mostly homeless and elderly people die in the Phoenix area every year, and hundreds more experience heat-related illnesses that can cause a rapid heart beat, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.”

That’s why Phoenix Rescue Mission will open its shelter facility during the daytime this weekend for homeless people to come in and cool off. We will also be distributing water, food, sunscreen and ball caps provided by our donors to those in need. The Mission is part of the Phoenix Heat Relief Network, which means we provide respite, a water hydration station for the homeless and serve as a water distribution hub for other agencies providing water to those on the street all summer long. Visit if you’d like to help or you can drop off water donations Monday through Saturday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM at:

The Family Outreach Center
1468 N 26th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009 
SW corner of McDowell & 26th Avenue


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