Prepare Your Home for the Heat

July 17, 2011

Hooray! ComEd has finally restored service to just about all its Chicago-area customers who lost power after last Monday’s violent storms.

And, luckily, it was done just as a heat wave entered our area, an event the utility company is going to treat like another storm.

This has been one of the hottest Julys on record, and this week will be a scorcher.

ComEd will keep its emergency operations center open and have extra call-takers at its call center this week, when temperatures are expected to climb into the 90s with heat indexes passing 100 degrees at times.

Residents need to be prepared for the extreme heat as well.

Besides wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, drinking lots of water and staying out of the sun as much as possible, Chicago homeowners should:

*Shut shades and blinds to keep the sun’s rays out of your home.

*Close vents and doors to rooms that aren’t being used.

*If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on the lowest level of your home since heat rises.

*Avoid using the stove and hold off on running the dishwasher or doing laundry until nighttime.

*Raise the temperature on the thermostat when you leave the house but do not turn the air conditioning off. Your unit will have to work too hard to get your home’s temperature back down later.

Check on your neighbors, friends and relatives you think might be at risk in this kind of weather, and keep your pets inside with you.

There are cooling centers all over the state. In Chicago, call 3-1-1 to find one near you. All Chicago police district headquarters, libraries and public buildings represent temporary cooling centers as well.

To find a center outside the city, visit keepcool.illinois.gov or call (800) 843-6154.

Enjoy summer in Chicago!

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