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Orange alert heatwave: How to stay safe in the record-breaking heat

This summer, the Alpes-Maritimes experienced its second hottest heatwave since 1943, with a total of ten days spent under Alerte Canicule Orange – the 2nd highest heatwave alert by the government.

Between the end of July and the beginning of August in the Alpes-Maritimes, the average temperature was 29.3°C, and this lasted for ten days in total. This rather long heatwave was also marked by a record-breaking temperature of 36.3°C on August 6th. But despite this seemingly unbearable heat, it’s not quite as hot as a few years ago.

The hottest year the region experienced was in 2003. That summer, the average temperature was 30.2°C and the heatwave lasted for 14 days, putting the elderly and the youngest in danger of heat stroke and dehydration. We are still in the thick of the heatwave with a high of 32°C today, which is a dangerously high temperature for the young and elderly. If you will be outside for an expended period time, make sure to seek shade and stay hydrated.

Staying safe in the heat

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are can be serious, so if you or someone you know is showing signs of headache, dizziness, fever, muscle cramps or intense thirst, it is important to cool the body down immediately and hydrate. Putting your hands in cold water or covering the skin with damp cloth can provide quick relief. The NHS gives the following four tips for cooling the body down if someone shows signs of heatstroke:

1. Move them to a cool place.

2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.

3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.

4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.

For more information on heatstroke, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke

Relief in sight

Fortunately, the heatwave is expected to come to an end this Saturday. Indeed, Météo France announced that temperatures should no longer exceed 28°C (which is only one degree more than the season normal). In the meantime, stay cool, stay hydrated and if you can’t escape the heat, head to our beautiful beaches for a swim!