Check the weather forecast on your phone; you will notice that the reading is off the rooftop, even as the impact is hard biting: Clothes easily get soaked; body temperatures rise and sweat drips down our body. All these causes a general feeling of discomfort that even Air Conditioners can’t fully tackle.
These trends, brought about by a phenomenon expert call a heat wave, seemed to have hit Lagos around the beginning of February and still counting till probably when the rain starts calling. But before we examine how to cope during this excessive heat period, we have to define a heat wave?
Definition of heat wave
Wikipedia defines it as “a period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries.” It further buttresses the definition as weather relatively higher than what is normally expected in a given area. A weather rise, especially consistently for over five days can safely be referred to as the beginning of a heat wave.
What this means is that while those in the northern parts of the country, who are used to temperature hikes and have overtime develop means of coping with it, may not think anything unusual is happening with the weather. But in places like Lagos that is already accustomed to a weather condition that is neither on the extreme, then there are changes, especially this consistent, it cannot go unnoticed.
What are the Problems related with heat wave?
- Excessive heat can raise the body temperature so high and even lead to death or sickness
- There is high demand for electricity to power cooling units, and this may lead to explosions and erratic power systems
- Dehydration of the body. If you don’t keep drinking water, you may lose body fluid and even faint.
- Exposure to sunburn and skin disease like acne, rashes, and skin pigmentation due to high intensity of the sun.
- Stress and headache on the body; a general feeling of discomfort.
9 Ways to stay safe during the hot weather
- Ensure that the rooms you are in have adequate ventilation system. Ensure to pull down shades and curtains over opened windows and doors in other to insulate it from the direct heat outside.
- It may also be time to change your curtains to lighter shades as these types do not absorb heat fast.
- Ensure to always have a cold bath whenever you can. Avoid hot water, steambath and sauna treats during this period.
- Leave the air-conditioning on and lower the temperature settings to make the place cooler. It may be wise not to rely on automatic adjustments by the thermostat, but better to manually set it to desired temperature.
- Avoid staying out in the sun for long periods, especially between the hours of 11am-3pm as the temperature is extreme at those times.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Avoid having too many cold bottles of alcohol or caffeinated beverages. Though these may be quite tempting and momentary savers, but they do not solve the problem in the long run.
- Wear light clothing, avoid dark colours and endeavor to leave out jackets and coat in your dress routine. But if you work in a corporate organization, ensure that the office is air-conditioned, and if not, make sure to pull and hang your suits or coat until when you have to leave for home. This is also the time to invest in sunglasses, caps and hats.
- Use body cream with sunscreen.
- For recreation, visit the beach often and go for swimming during the weekends as a way of relaxing and cooling off.
- Check up on children, elderly and sick people during this period and ensure that you apply these rules on them.
Final thoughts: The heat wave is just for a while, it will definitely pass. And as far as you take adequate precautions to keep yourself and family safe during this period, you have nothing to worry about.