How to beat the heat when you spend all day outdoors


Many in Hawaii are finding these hot summer days uncomfortable, especially those who spend all day baking in the sun.

Police officers, construction workers and landscapers are just some examples of people who risk heat exhaustion on the job.

Shane Lincoln and his team at Jack Endo Electric spent Friday taking down electrical wiring on Piikoi Street and converting it underground to power up part of Ala Moana Center. That requires digging into asphalt on a hot, humid day.

“Get an office job! It’s the best way to stay cool,” Lincoln joked. But in all seriousness, “it makes it even hotter to actually work on the road. The temperature from the sun, the reflection goes onto the asphalt, it’s just really hot.”

In Kahala, Hapa Landscaping is sprucing up a home. The crew there jokes too. “We choose to be outside, but when we get a heat wave like this, we second-guess that choice,” operations manager Kyle Buel said.

While an afternoon shower seemed to offer some relief, Buel said “the rain actually makes it so much worse. The water gets into the ground, the humidity comes up. You get it from the sun above you, the humidity below and you just start pouring sweat.”

“We end up getting wet. It becomes hot. It’s trying to suck the life out of me, I feel like,” added Travalito Siobal, landscaping supervisor with Hapa Landscaping.

On days like this, outside workers are extra careful. “We go over that with our guys. if you’re starting to feel dizzy, too hot, get shade, get your water,” Buel said.

“What I do is, I make sure my boys is well hydrated. I tell them to put on sunscreen to protect them from the ultraviolet rays and whatnot,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln says they have to look out for each other. “You can get dehydrated real fast. In fact, my partner here last week was suffering from heat stroke. I told him to take some time off, sit down, relax, cool off,” he said.

Lincoln and Buel say they tell their employees to fuel up on water and sports drinks with electrolytes.

Even if you’re off the clock and enjoying the day, experts say you should stay hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion.

Many choose to cool down with a delicious shave ice. At Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha in Aina Haina, business is booming.

Owner Clay Chang says business is up about 25 percent from last summer.

“It’s been so hot that the lines are forming like they’ve never formed before. Summers are always our busy time, our peak season time for shave ice,” he said.

Others opt to cool off in the ocean. Maunalua Bay in East Oahu was filled with paddlers Friday, many of whom also got their feet wet.

“Come to practice, get in the water, swim around,” one paddler said.

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