Aging Well in the Gorge July 13th 2022

In the Gorge, we don’t experience Midwest tornadoes or east coast hurricanes, but we do have our summer threats: heat, wildfires, and the accompanying smoke. We’ve all experienced those conditions, but here is a quick reminder on how to be ready.

Prepare an Emergency Kit. It should include food and water to last at least three days – and don’t forget your medications. Also, know where you keep your important documents so you can quickly take them with you.

Create a plan. Do you have a personal support network? A family communication plan? An evacuation plan? A plan for your pet? If you rely on electricity or battery-dependent medical equipment, do you have a plan for a power outage?

Stay informed. Do you have your mobile phone registered with your local emergency notification system such as Citizen’s Alert? This enables Emergency Response Agencies to provide you with critical information quickly. As they’ll tell you, they can’t warn you if they can’t reach you. (All landlines automatically receive emergency notices).

You can register on your county’s website or call one of the following numbers for assistance.

Klickitat County Emergency Management (509) 773-0582)

Wasco County Emergency Management (541) 506-2790

Skamania County Department of Emergency Management (509) 427-8076

Hood River County Sheriff’s Office (541) 386-2098

Sherman County Emergency Services (541) 565-3100

But what causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, and floods combined? Heat-related illnesses.

Older adults are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion exhibited by heavy sweating and a rapid pulse. But if untreated it can progress to heat stroke the most severe form of heat illness – a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat stroke are lack of sweating, headache, confusion, rapid heart rate, nausea or vomiting, and loss of consciousness.

So how do you protect yourself? Stay cool, hydrated, and connected.

Avoid sun exposure; wear light-weight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothes that cover your skin; wear a wide-brimmed hat; try ice packs, cool showers or sponge baths. But do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort but do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.

Drink plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty; Drink enough to have to urinate every four hours. The color of your urine is an indicator of whether you are hydrated.

Be aware of local heat advisories; have someone check in on you; and identify places to stay cool such as senior centers, libraries, or your favorite coffee shop.

You can find more information about preparedness at As the saying goes, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worse.”

An inexpensive way to get that deep tan was baby oil. I received correct answers from Rebecca Abrams and Deborah Medina; and Dave Lutgens answered Man Tan a much safer alternative to sunbathing, But this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Margo Dameier who took sunbathing a step further with a combination of baby oil and iodine which I also used. Remember we were just kids!

From the previous week, those who sent in ”Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” were Sandy Haechrel, Donna Mollett, Cindy Winfield, Keith and Marlene Clymer, Maria Kollas, Deborah Medina, Rebecca Abrams, Linda Frizzell, Lana Tepfer, Margo Dameier, Doug Nelson, Rhonda Spies, Jess Birge, Chuck Rice, Billie Maxwell, Stephen Woolpert and this week’s two winners of a quilt raffle ticket: Joy Bee and Bob Sallee. And way back when I missed Rhonda Spies.

A quick Brain Tease: Can you find the next 3 letters in this sequence? o t t f f s s _ _ _

Remember when girls and boys would dye their hair blond or in some unfortunate cases orange? For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was this diluted chemical compound commonly used as a mild antiseptic but also as an inexpensive hair dye? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a bottle of H2O2.

Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the mornings on the front porch. Until we meet again, when there’s a problem, acknowledge it, work through it, and move on.

“Life is too short to waste time matching socks.” Forwarded to me by Sandy Haechrel.

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