PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sarah Kuhn knows there is a heat wave coming. She’s relieved she bought the last air conditioner in stock at her local hardware store.

“I bought a fan instead and then that was working fine and then it stopped being so fine,” she told KOIN 6 News. “And I came back yesterday and they didn’t have any.”

“You certainly want to consider going out and getting a fan if there’s not one permanently installed,” said PF&R Lt. Tommy Schroeder, “because once the heat wave comes that’s the worst time to get one because they are going to be off the shelves instantly.”

Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines, December 28, 2020 (KOIN)

Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said because this heatwave is coming so early people may not be acclimated.

“It takes about 1 – 2 weeks for our bodies to get used to functioning in hot temperatures, so with this level of heat this early for a 3-day stretch, we know it could be deadly,” Vines said.

And this weekend when the triple digit temps arrive, the temperature will remain high even when the sun sets.

“It’s not going to feel too much cooler at night,” Vines said. “People’s bodies aren’t going to get a break at night.”

If you can’t get someplace cool, watch yourself for signs of heat-related illness, including feeling nauseous and sick.

“If you let it continue, it could become a heat stroke which is a life threatening situation,” Schroeder said. “That’s indicated by actually sweating less. You start to feel cool and clammy and that’s actually a bad sign.”

If you’re going to be outside for a long period, Schroeder said to have water ready. A lot of it. The average adult should drink 8 ounces of water per hour, and more if you’re exercising.

It’s also important to keep your pets out of the heat and away from hot cars.

(KOIN, file)

“If you would be uncomfortable in your car with the windows cracked and the AC off, the dog is definitely going to be uncomfortable because they lack the ability to sweat and death can occur very, very quickly for them,” he said.

Kuhn is happy her new air conditioning unit will help her pets, too.

“I have a couple animals and I want to try of make things doable for them if it’s going to be over 100,” she said.