Let's face it, as Mainers we don't get a ton of practice when it comes to how to handle the heat, because it's not around for that long. But it's still important to think ahead, especially when that mercury starts to rise. And with this week's forecast taking us into our first taste of 90 degree temps, there are a few things to remember as we prep for the warmer weather.

First: Don't leave your kids or your pets in the car. It takes way less time than you'd think for the temperature inside your car to reach critically dangerous levels. Tiny people and tiny pets (or even larger ones) aren't the best at regulating their temperatures in even slightly warmer conditions. Leaving them in a hot car, even one that's running, can have deadly consequences, so why even tempt fate that way. If you can, leave Fifi and Fido in comfort at home. And as much of a pain as it may be to drag the kids into the store with you for that 5 minute errand (trust me, I have 4--I get it), it beats the alternative, should something go wrong.

Second: Hydrate! Especially on those humid days. I know you feel all sticky already, so why do you have to wet anything, let alone your whistle?! It can be hard to remember to drink (something aside from a cocktail) when you're having fun in the summer sun, but it can help keep you cool, and prevent things like heat stroke from hitting. You may also want to save that massive roofing or driveway paving project for a cooler day. Taking it easy in the extreme heat and humidity is key to surviving it.

And last but not least, check on the elderly around you and in your family. For so many reasons, the elderly are often impacted by the changes in temperature, hot and cold, a little more intensely than folks who are younger. Make sure your older folks have ways to keep cool and hydrated, too.

As a bonus, if you plan to hit the road and do some holiday traveling on hot days, don't forget to pack some extra water, maybe an umbrella or a hat, in case your car breaks down on the side of the road and you have to walk along a highway in the super-hot sun. I speak from experience (happened to me about 20 years ago, 4th of July weekend, on my way to see Poison in Mass. Never made it to the concert. Stupid car. I was sunburned, dehydrated and feeling like death when I finally made it to gas station to call a tow truck! That was back before cell phones, but still, if I had had an umbrella or hat or extra water, I would have been in much better shape! Don't be me!)

Be smart. Be prepared. And enjoy the upcoming heatwave because we all know what's around the corner...


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