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Beating the Heat at Cornell during an Ithaca heat wave

28 August 2018

Ithaca and all of Central New York are under a Heat Advisory issued by the National Weather Service. When it's unusually hot and muggy for a few days, and doesn't cool off at night, it's important to take some extra steps to stay cool for health and comfort.

Sun Glare Heat

Keeping your room cool

If you're in a residence hall or apartment that isn't air-conditioned, here are some tips for keeping the room as cool as possible:
  • Keep windows closed when it's hotter outside than in; open them when it's cool out at night.
  • Keep window shades, blinds, or curtains closed during the day to keep sunlight minimized. Open them when the sun goes down to let heat radiate out.
  • Unplug unnecessary electronics like your printer, TV, and phone chargers that aren't in use. They all use tiny bits of energy all the time, and generate tiny (or not-so-tiny) amounts of heat.
  • Use a fan to keep air moving.
  • Sustainable Cornell's Recipe #15: Stay Cool in the Summer

Keeping yourself cool

  • Take cool or warm rather than hot showers.
  • Hold a cold water bottle or can of soda to the inside of your wrist or back of your knee.
  • Visit air-conditioned locations on or near campus.

Where can you find air conditioning?

There are several buildings on campus that are air conditioned or cooled via Cornell's Lake Source Cooling system, and a couple are open until midnight or later!
  • Robert Purcell Community Center (2am)
  • Appel Commons (midnight)
  • Noyes Community Recreation Center (1am)
  • Mann Library (midnight)
  • Duffield Atrium
  • Klarman Hall
  • Sage Hall Atrium
  • Africana Library
  • Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Of course lots of spaces off-campus are air-conditioned, including grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. Hop a TCAT bus and visit one this afternoon!

Stay safe if you go swimming

Please remember that swimming is not permitted in area gorges, but Cornell and Ithaca do have safe swimming areas!

Stay healthy!

Drink plenty of fluids, especially non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic, non-sugary drinks like water. Drink water before you feel thirsty on a hot day. When you feel thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated.

The National Weather Service says: When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.

If you or a friend is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, seek help from Cornell Health at 607-255-5155, or call 911 in case of medical emergency.

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