MOSES LAKE — The Grant County Fair is always the hot destination, but in 2016 that’s a literal description. It’s hot. It’s going to stay hot.
The forecast high for Wednesday is 96 to 98 degrees – or to simplify it, Wednesday is going to be hot. The forecast for Thursday is windy and hot, with temperatures between 95 and 97 degrees. The heat will recede a little on Friday and Saturday before ramping back up to 97 or so on Sunday.
Keeping cool – or at least not getting heat-related illnesses – at the fair means keeping the water bottle handy, according to local emergency medical personnel.
Two things are important for people who plan to spend time at the fair. “One is sunscreen, two is hydration,” said Brandy Tarala, regional supervisor for AMR, which provides emergency medical services at the fair. “Hydration is key.” AMR has a booth at the fairgrounds, at the fair’s purple gate directly behind the Grant County Sheriff’s Office booth. AMR personnel will be spending a lot of their time walking the grounds, however, so there’s a number on the door, 509-370-5585, for people who need medical assistance.
People should be drinking water – not coffee or tea or soda pop – before, during and after they spend a few hours at the fair on a hot day, Tarala said. “Water does well,” said Derek Beach, a firefighter and paramedic with the Moses Lake Fire Department. Even though soda pop, coffee and tea might be cold and might seem to be doing the job, they have ingredients that contribute to dehydration, Beach said.
“Good old plain water is probably the best,” he said. People who plan to be outside for a few hours should drink sports drinks in addition to the water, both Beach and Tarala said. Sports drinks have ingredients which help replace nutrients the body loses when it’s sweating, she said.
Senior citizens, young children and people with chronic illness are most at risk for heat-related problems, both Beach and Tarala said. If a person seems to be in distress, the first thing to ask if they’re OK, and if they’re not, call 911, Tarala said. And it’s better for everybody to seek the shade – in fact, if someone seems to be in distress, they should be moved to the shade immediately.
The fairgrounds has some air-conditioned buildings, the 4-H and commercial buildings among them, and people should head for those if they think they may be suffering from heat-related illness, Beach said. Anyplace with shade will work, Tarala said. “Find shade, sit down, cool off,” she said.
Clothing should be worn with an eye to the weather too. “Cotton is better than polyester,” Tarala said.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org