Posted at: 07/19/2013 9:50 AM
By: Associated Press
New Yorkers are being asked to reduce electricity use as this week's heat wave is driving near record demand for power.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says people should cut back as much as possible to take pressure off the state's power grid and help prevent outages or brownouts.
He says Thursday that experts monitoring the grid expect demand to hit record levels.
Consumers are being asked to set air conditioner thermostats no lower than 78 degrees and to turn off air conditioning when spaces aren't occupied. They're also urged to turn off any unnecessary lights and use appliances only in early morning or late at night when overall demand is generally lower.
State health officials continue to warn people about taking care to stay hydrated, eat light and avoid strenuous activity.
New Yorkers are encouraged to follow these tips to stay healthy, and protect themselves and others from the heat:
- Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Exercise in the early morning between 4-7 a.m.
- Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables – protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which can cause water loss. Eat small meals, but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods.
- 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.
- If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. The sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration. 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 high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
- Make an effort to check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs.
- Make sure there is enough water and food for pets and limit their exercise.