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Richmond residents share tips for staying safe in extreme heat

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmonders across the city are grappling with temperatures peaking around 100 degrees. Benjamin Roybal biked into the city to meet his wife for a picnic lunch Wednesday.

“I brought a backpack and a basket which is more than I wish I had brought,” he explained while laying out in his hammock tied to two trees in a park of Monument Avenue. Roybal said he was taking a break before trekking back home in the heat.

"Right now it is perfect because I’ve got that fine layer of sweat where the breeze hits me and its instant cool, but when the breeze dies down it’s a mind game,” Roybal said,
He made a point of finding shade and staying hydrated, two things emergency responders say are key in extreme temperatures.

On excessively hot days, even first responders stock up.

“We make sure each truck is equipped with ice and Gatorade,” explained Captain Veronica Ruffin, as she filled a cooler.

Captain Ruffin said severe heat is dangerous for everyone.
“Heavy sweating, weakness, cool, clammy skin, your pulse begins to race.” But especially, children and seniors, “Because they crash quicker,” Ruffin explained.

Authorities say under these weather conditions you should only venture out if you have to – and if you do – keep the water with you.