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July 6, 2013

Locals search for Heat Relief

(Continued)

“It’s so hot on the beach, people aren’t staying a huge amount of time,” she said. “It empties out fairly quickly, and then we can refill it.”

With the refuge beach itself closed while the piping plovers are nesting, popular spots like Sandy Point are even more full than usual. Adams said that beach was full by 8 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. yesterday.

Although the visitors center at the refuge does sell water when it’s open, there are no water fountains or food stands. So Adams emphasizes the importance of planning ahead.

“It pays to prepare,” she said, noting that some beachgoers in the past couple of days have left to buy water and other supplies, only to return and find the parking lots closed.

But most visitors have been taking the right precautions and staying hydrated, Adams said. Similarly, both Newburyport and Salisbury police said there haven’t been any incidents of heat-related illnesses or other problems.

“It’s been relatively quiet,” Salisbury Sgt. Tim Hunter said. He said officers have been conducting extra patrols at the beach and throughout town to make sure people are staying safe.

The heat also attracts mosquitoes and greenheads, something else to be cautious of.

“This is what they love, very hot weather,” Adams said.

Not affected by the heat? The plovers, which “are doing fabulous this year,” Adams said.

“They’re well-adapted,” she said. “Nature is much tougher than humans are.”

Tips for beating the heat

Avoid strenuous activity.

Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Drink plenty of water.

Limit alcohol and caffeine.

Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

Stay indoors as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, seek out places that do.

Use sunblock, and reapply often. Sunburns slow the skin’s ability to cool itself.

Never leave pets or children alone in closed vehicles.

Sources: National Weather Service, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

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