WEATHER WARNING: DGS advises population to prepare for heatwave

Portugal’s health board (DGS) has published a list of measures that citizens should follow to stay safe during the approaching heatwave, which will see temperatures rising above 40ºC in many parts of the country (click here).

The measures are directed particularly at people with “chronic illnesses”, pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with reduced mobility.

Staying hydrated is one of the main recommendations made by DGS, which encourages citizens to drink water or natural fruit juices, “even when they are not thirsty”, and to avoid alcoholic beverages.

The health authority also advises eating “cold and light meals” several times a day and using baggy clothes which cover most of the body, wide hats and sunglasses.

Avoiding direct exposure to the sun (especially between 11am and 5pm), staying in cool and ventilated environments, using sunscreen (at least 30 sun protection factor), and avoiding activities that demand “great physical efforts” are also among the DGS’ recommendations.

For people working outdoors, DGS advises drinking plenty of water, wearing baggy clothes and hats and working, if possible, with someone else, because in “situations of extreme heat, they can become confused or lose consciousness”.

Meanwhile, if you must drive somewhere, DGS recommends doing so outside of the hottest hours of the day and avoiding staying inside parked vehicles that are exposed to the sun.

The health board also urges those who have elderly relatives or know people who live in isolated areas to contact them and ensure they are staying hydrated and in cool areas.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com