National Weather Service: Expect heat index values in excess of 105 degrees

(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

The National Weather Service in Wakefield has issued an excessive heat advisory to areas along the East Coast, including Southeastern Hampton Roads.

“Hot and humid weather is expected from Wednesday through the weekend. The heat is expected to peak Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” according to a news release from the Weather Service.

In addition, heat indexes “may reach or exceed 105 degrees Wednesday and Thursday, with high temperatures in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees” with a heat index of 105 to 110 degrees on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the NWS Wakefield office.

The office advised those working outside take breaks and drink plenty of water to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke — And, never leave children or pets alone in vehicles for any period of time.

Where to go

“There are many public places where people can go if they need access to cooling – libraries, recreation centers, malls,” said Julie Hill, a spokeswoman for the city.

“We are also fortunate enough to be located near the Oceanfront,” she said.

Ruth Hill is the city’s Homeless Services/Housing Resource Center administrator and said when the weather gets hot, “Virginia Beach Services has an Outreach Team who goes out with water bottles to check on people.”

Ruth Hill noted the Housing Resource Center has “Day Services” where adults facing homelessness can shower, do laundry, get housing support, and have a meal.

“Just by saying ‘It’s hot, what are your plans today?’ ‘How can we help?’ we ensure people’s needs are being met,” she said.

To learn more about the Housing Resource Center and how to access its resources, click here.

The Salvation Army Men’s Hope Center at 203 West 19th St. in Norfolk will open its doors to those in need. Individuals looking to beat the heat are welcome to visit the Hope Center from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for cool shelter and cold water, and from 4:45 p.m. – 6 p.m. for soup kitchen dinner accommodations.

How to prepare

  • Prepare for a heatwave by checking to see if your home’s cooling system is working properly.
  • Consider scheduling routine maintenance for your cooling system.
  • Ensure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and windows to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.
  • Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.

During extreme heat

  • Stay indoors, in air-conditioning, as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. If you must work during extreme heat, take frequent breaks.
  • Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids. Sports drinks can help replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning.

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.