A historic heat wave continues in the western states. All-time high records are going to be challenged. Temperatures at night will also stay above normal and cooler weather is not forecast until well into next week.

Statistics show that heat kills more people, on average, than any other weather-related hazard.  Heat waves are especially more fatal when they last more than two consecutive days.

For your safety and consideration VA assembled a list of resources. Please be mindful of you and your loved one’s safety (that includes the four-legged members of your family) during this time.

Remember to check on those who are particularly vulnerable or elderly during the next few days. Stay safe and protected.

Preparedness and safety

Tips for keeping your home cool

  • Use window coverings such as blinds and curtains
  • Ceiling Fans: Counterclockwise for summers
  • Cook outdoors if able. Either cook on the grill, in a microwave or in a crock pot. If you must use the oven, try to cook your meal before noon or after the heat of the day.


  • If beating the weekend heat includes travel to cooler locales, make sure to prep & pack your car accordingly. Include enough water for all passengers and pets.
  • NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles! Plan ahead if you’ll need travel breaks.

Pets can get dehydrated quickly.




  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. Be careful not to over-exercise them and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Rhonda Haney is a public affairs specialist for the Southern Oregon VA.

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