JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With Jacksonville experiencing a scorching heatwave, the Weather Authority said that Friday was one of the hottest days of the year and that it's only going to get worse over the next couple of days. With temperatures on the rise, officials are warning people about staying safe, especially the elderly.
The elderly are some of the most vulnerable groups of people to these conditions which is why a place like the Mary Singleton Seniors Center is a great place to stay cool and have a good time.
Playing pool is Lucious McCrary's favorite pastime and he gets to play as much as he'd like at the center, while he and hundreds of other seniors like him try to keep cool.
"I enjoy pool because I've been shooting pool for about 40 years. Yeah, about 40 years," McCray said. "And it's kind of hot out there and me being the age I am, it does kind of take a toll on me. As far as being outside. So, I try to drink a lot of water."
And health officials say that staying hydrated is great advice, especially as temperatures are expected to rise.
And even though temperatures hit near 95 degrees Friday, life doesn't stop and the elderly, like everyone else, are out and about running errands in the sweltering summer sun. People like Pearl Sydnor, who happened to be out in the sun Friday.
"Horrible. It's really, really bad. Like you're, like you're in an oven," Sydnor said.
Sydnor is from Arizona, so she's no stranger to serious heat. But still, she does what she can to be safe in the heat.
"I'm stopping in places that are cool. And going back and forth between (those cool spots)," Sydnor said.
But the elderly are not the only people at risk due to heat related problems. People who work outside for long periods of time also need to be careful. Health officials tell them to take breaks as much as possible.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some other things that people can do to stay cool and safe:
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
- Avoid getting sunburns, which can affect your body's ability to cool itself
- Try to save strenuous physical labor for early morning or the evening
As for Sydnor, another one of her methods to keeping cool is simply riding the bus.
"You get on in and sit for 20 minutes. You're cool. And then I only have a block-and-a half to walk. (Then) I'm home and I can be cool again."