BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The official first day of summer has yet to arrive, but those of us who live in the capital area are already feeling the season’s infamous heat.

In many cases, it isn’t simply uncomfortable, but has the potential to be dangerous. 

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. 

So, how can we protect ourselves from summer’s extreme temperatures when our air conditioning goes out?

Four helpful tips are below:

1. Keep your home as cool as possible by covering the windows — Close the curtains in your home, turn down the blinds, and pull the shades to keep sunlight out.

2. Turn off the lights. — During the day, keep as many lights off as possible, and when you need to turn one on, choose a light that generates as little heat as possible, such as a light source with a CFL or LED light bulb.

3. Stay hydrated. — Drink lots of ice water during the daylight hours especially, as this is when the sun is at its brightest. This can help to keep your body temperature low and out of the danger zone that leads to heat exhaustion.

4. Find someplace cool during the daytime hours. — During the day, find someplace with AC to lounge, such as the mall or the public library. 

When your car’s AC goes out

If your car’s AC doesn’t work, be sure to keep the windows down while you’re driving and plan ahead before taking trips in your car. Pack a small cooler that includes a travel mug filled with ice water and perhaps a secondary cold beverage to sip on as you drive. 

When you don’t have power due to financial problems

If you are living in a home that does not have AC and you can’t afford to pay the energy bill, try calling the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at (225) 358-4561 and scheduling an interview to discuss your situation with one of their representatives. 

Click here for additional information from the CDC on how to stay cool during the summer months.