Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Montreal Heats Up - Literally

It’s hot here. Very hot. Montreal can range from degrees in the minus 30s (Celsius) in the winter and the plus 30s in the summer. Yesterday it reached over 30 and with the humidity, the weather people are saying it felt like around 40 degrees. For the Fahrenheit people among us, that’s a winter low in the minus 20s and a summer high in the high 80s, low 90s, or up to 104 with the humidity factored in.

I know lots of places have it hot like that much of the time, but getting it in a few weeks at a time, that’s pretty intense. I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t usually feel the heat. People will be saying “man, it’s hot!” and I’ll be saying, “I guess.” My family has learned that if I say it’s hot, it’s hot. We don’t have air conditioning. Our house can’t have central A/C unless we do the ductless type ($$$) and window A/C would be a lot of wasted energy because of the openness between the rooms on the main level. The racket would be enormous if we put units in every window, and just a few wouldn’t work. So, we live with a unit in the bedroom for sleeping. All the rooms have ceiling fans and if it gets really hot, the kids used to grab cot mattresses and sleep on the floor in our room. Whatever works, right?

Today is Montreal’s second day with this heat. The city administration says that it takes three days in a row with these temperatures to declare an emergency. That means they extend pool hours, open air conditioned shelters for those who can’t cope with the heat, and they make special arrangements to be sure people are as safe as can be. Of course, no-one wants a repeat of the high death toll that hit Paris, France, a few years ago when they had a massive heat wave.

One of the problems I have without feeling the heat as much is that I really don’t drink enough fluids. I never do at the best of times as I’m rarely thirsty, but in heat like this, that can become dangerous. I’ve tried keeping drinks next to me, carrying water bottles, you name it – I’ve tried it. I just don’t think to drink. So, today, I have a 750 mL bottle of sparkling water on my desk and I’m trying hard to think to take a few swigs every so often.

For those of you who are in high heat areas, take it easy, take it slow. If you're like one of my sons and has to work outside, make sure you take care of yourself and really drink enough water. Save the intense exercise for cooler days and nights. Oh - and don't forget our four-legged friends. If it's hot for us, it's hot for them. Keep the walks short and make sure Fido or Fifi have plenty of water when they get back. Heat stroke is just as serious for them.

Won’t be long before the heat breaks here and then we’ll be complaining again about our lousy weather.

Today’s news:
Childhood cancer survivors face health risks
Incomplete colonoscopy more likely at MD's office

Sorry, couldn’t resist adding this one!
Older Cancer Survivors Pull Their Weight in Workplace, Study Finds

No comments: