Holy Mother of Sunshine, It’s HOT Out There!

Our beautiful Green Country is starting to make a shift on the color wheel from green to yellow. As an Oklahoma Insurance Agent I find myself driving through many parts of Claremore on a daily basis.

Throughout my wanderings I have begun to notice more and more yellow lawns, wilting leaves, and sagging tree limbs. There is also an eerie absence of kids playing outdoors and people lounging on front porches that are typical sights in our community.

The words drought, record temperatures, fire hazards, burn bans, water shortages and the like are being tossed around like fall leaves in the wind. Rogers County has recently self-imposed a burn ban that includes all outdoor burning with the exception of gas powered and charcoal grilling.

With this safety precaution in place by our local government, there are a few other safety measures that the citizens of Oklahoma should take notice of during this Saharan Desert like heat wave:

 If you are watering outdoor vegetation you should only water at dusk or after the sun goes down. This optimizes water retention in the soil and gives your plants the entire night to take a long, slow drink of water.
 Conserve water wherever and whenever you can. With the lack of replenishing rainfall, some rural districts are beginning to experience water shortages. Conserving water before a mandatory conservation effort may avoid future trouble.
 Check on your elderly neighbors, especially if you have not seen them in a while. Air conditioners have a tendency to self-combust with over use in extreme heat. The young and the elderly are more susceptible to heat stroke and dehydration (the top causes of death in extreme heat conditions).
 Do not leave your children or pets in a parked car for any period of time.
 Make sure you check the water supply for all outdoor pets on a daily basis.
 If you are outdoors, wear light colored clothing as it reflects the sun’s UV radiation whereas dark colors absorb it and help to increase body temperature. Drink plenty of water, apply a high grade sun block and eat light, easily digestible foods.
 Check your foundation for cracks. The hard packed clay present in most Oklahoma soil has a tendency to crack and separate with either too much or too little water. This includes the soil under your foundation. A moderate watering plan around your foundation can help prevent expensive foundation repairs and insurance claims in the future.
 Keep decaying vegetation and debris cleared from your rooftop and guttering system. The presence of these items creates a fire hazard and poses a risk.
 If you own an older home, consider placing storm windows on the exterior of your house and check seals around doors for leaks. This prevents the loss of cold air and puts a dent in that high summer energy bill.
 Change your air conditioning filters at least every 30 days. A blocked filter can cause your A/C to work overtime, raising electric bills and requiring expensive repairs.

Here are a few websites with some helpful hints for surviving the relentless heat as comfortably and safely as possible. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about keeping your home and family safe in these extreme weather conditions.My door is always open.

http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml
http://www.redcrossstl.org/ProgramsServices/DisasterServices/DisasterSafetyTips/DroughtSafetyandConservationTips.aspx

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