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Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 5:42 a.m.

Excessive heat warning issued: 8 ways to beat the heat during the Ann Arbor Art Fair

By Juliana Keeping


The sun beats down on last year's Ann Arbor Art Fair. High temperatures in the 90s are expected for the rest of the week. file photo

The 4-day Ann Arbor Art Fair kicks off today and will go hand in hand with scorching temperatures.

The National Weather Service predicts high temperatures in the low to mid-90s today, Friday and Saturday; tomorrow could near 100. The NWS has issued an excessive heat warning until 10 p.m. Thursday to increase awareness about the dangers of heat waves, and Washtenaw County has activated its emergency response plan.

Here are 8 tips to avoid heat-related illness while browsing booths full of creativity lining on Ann Arbor streets, or spending any amount of time out of the AC in the coming days.

1. Hydrate: Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Note: the City of Ann Arbor has converted fire hydrants into temporary, free tap water stations around the Art Fair. They are located at Main and Liberty, South University and State, North University, and Maynard at Liberty.

2. Understand and learn to recognize these signs of heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion and an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat stroke, or sunstroke, is life-threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 105 degrees.

3. Understand who is more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses:Those who are most at risk of heat-related illness or death include older adults, children, infants and people with chronic medical conditions. Outdoor work or activity, certain medications or pregnancy may also increase your risk. First aid stations are available at the fair, on Liberty just west of Division, and just off the corner of North University and Fletcher.

More on the fair

Additional Ann Arbor Art Fair stories:

4. Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.

5. Eat small meals frequently: Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

6. Take it easy: Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.

7. Take breaks from the heat indoors when possible: If air-conditioning is not available, take a break from the sun on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Note that electric fans do not cool; they simply circulate the air.

8. Be a good neighbor: During heat waves, remember to check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.

Make sure to look for weather updates on our site and get the forecast on's weather page.

Cindy Heflin contributed to this report. Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 6:27 a.m.

Just stay home, where, hopefully, you have a good air conditioner, or two! Otherwise, you are playing heat-stroke roulette in this weather. Especially the very young, and the older folks among us. Don't be stupid.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Hey clowns why not Stay Home where it is at least cooler.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

I must say - got a great laugh from the cover story picture on the main page: a woman in long sleeves and jeans. Whoopsie.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 5 p.m.

There is something a bit odd or perhaps ironic about an article telling folks how to avoid hospitalization or death while attending an event. Maybe the city attorney or the health department might declare the art fair a public danger.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

When it's hot/sunny I use a sun-blocking umbrella...I bought a good one online at Coolibar a few years ago (also good for rainstorms of course!) I had it out yesterday as I was walking around town, it's about 10 degrees cooler underneath, using one. Perhaps one of the local stores like Bivouac or REI carries a similar product?


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Actually it's quite *lol!*

John B.

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

Would that be ill-tempered sled dogs?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 9 p.m.

a triple wide baby stroller is best pulled by a team of sled dogs Ron.

Ron Granger

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Yes, a giant umbrella would be perfect for walking around during art fair. Ideally, it should be attached to a triple wide baby stroller.

John A2

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Best way to beat the heat is to stay home in the air if you got it. Take lots of cold showers and drink a lot of water if ya don't. Stay away from sunny areas and crowds of people. If ya got a pet, you might want to fill up a kids pool with water and leave it in the shade, and maybe change it periodically. The humidity mixed with the heat is poisonous to people who are used to the temperate zone. Stay in the shade as much as possible, consume gallons of water, and wear full bodied white loose clothing (Middle Eastern Garb) if your going to be outside in the sun. Women are much more vulnerable to the heat and sun, do to their biology. It's no joking around today or the next couple of days. If your older try to duck into air conditioned places and cool down.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

"Avoid .... caffeine, which dehydrate the body. " that is not really true unless one consumes large quantities (500-600 or more mg) in a relatively short period of time.

Ron Granger

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

My tradition for beating the heat is to get a Fruit Freezer at the corner of Liberty and Division, just south of the intersection.

Ron Granger

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

And another thing, leave your pants at home. They will thank you for it too.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

One more thing, please leave your pets at home. They will thank you for it.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

If you bring your pet out in this heat, the heat may end your pet.