Baby, it’s HOT outside. This is my first summer in Florida and I had no idea it could be this hot and humid and not be on the surface of the sun. This morning, steam rose up to meet me after it sprinkled rain. I did not know that was possible. It felt like it was raining up. Wow.

It reminded me to check on people I love. If you have to work outside or know someone who works outside make sure you are drinking plenty of water with salt added. I make a mixture of 2 ounces apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and a LaCroix water to replace electrolytes when I’ve spent time outside. The taste takes some getting used to but it works really well. When you see your mail person, UPS or Fed EX delivery people remember they don’t have air conditioning in their vehicles. Have a cold bottle of water ready to hand to them. They will thank you.

Please check on your elderly. Heat can sneak up on them. Older adults do not adjust as well as younger people do to changes in the temperature. They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat. And, they are more likely to take prescription medication that affects the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat. Please make sure they are drinking enough water and that they have access to air conditioning.

Educate yourself on the signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke with the recommended treatment. This website is very informative: www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning

Know what to do and how to help someone. Seconds count, especially in our older population.

Even on the hottest days our residents love going outside. Most of them grew up here and they cannot imagine a day without going outside. We limit the time outside, stay in the shade of the front porch, and offer cold drinks. Sno-cones are the most popular outdoor treat.

I’m learning to embrace the heat and find a few extra indoor activities to do. It’s not unlike finding indoor activities during the whole month of January and February, in Missouri, when it was just too cold outside. I’m determined to adjust because I can’t imagine a better place to live than Port St. Joe, Florida. Remember to treat everyone with importance and always be kind.