Are you visiting Europe? The following information about the heat wave is important. - Liberty

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Are you visiting Europe? The following information about the heat wave is important.

This summer is scorching in the popular tourist locations of Italy, Spain, and Greece. Travelers may protect themselves by exercising prudence.

Greece and other nations in Southern Europe are dealing with an excruciating heat wave that affects both residents and visitors. Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

Liberty-CNN,  Due to a continuous heat wave that has caused temperatures in Italy, Spain, and Greece to surpass records, Southern Europe is roasting. This harsh weather and one of the busiest travel seasons in recent memory creates concerns for tourists who want to take a trip while remaining safe. You should read this if you are traveling to Europe soon or are currently there.

What regions of Europe are affected?

The nations most affected by the high-pressure "anticyclone," which started in North Africa and is responsible for the record heat, are Italy, Spain, and Greece. Sicily and Sardinia might have highs of 118 degrees Fahrenheit (almost 48 degrees Celsius) later this week; northern Spain had highs of 115 degrees this week; while portions of central Greece registered 109 degrees. Thousands of people have been forced to flee wildfires that have erupted in Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, and Spain's Canary Islands as a result of the hot, dry weather.

How long is this heat wave expected to last?

According to forecasts, the heat wave will continue for at least one more week, till the end of July. But this specific anticyclone—named Charon after the Greek mythological ferryman for the dead—arrives shortly after another high-pressure system from the Sahara. (That one was known as Cerberus, after the canine with three heads that watches over the underworld.)

According to experts, recent years have increased the severity and frequency of heat events in Europe.

Think over your trip attire, lodgings, and everyday activities. Remain hydrated. Alessandro Penso

Are these places equipped to withstand this level of heat?

In general, European towns are ill-prepared to handle intense, prolonged heat. Fewer buildings generally have air conditioning, and many have historic architecture, especially in touristy districts. A 2018 survey found that just one in ten houses in Europe had air conditioning, compared to 90 percent in the US. Some European nations have established legislation severely restricting the installation of air conditioners.

Although some cities, like Paris, have sought to increase the number of trees planted and provide public cooling facilities, experts claim that these efforts have been ineffective. A worker in Northern Italy fainted and passed away from exposure last week; a paper published last week in the journal Nature Medicine linked 61,000 more fatalities across the continent to last year's heat waves.

Is it a secure place to visit Southern Europe?

Safety is mostly a personal matter that depends on your age, underlying medical issues, and physical health. However, there are clear hazards associated with severe heat. You can and need to take precautions to reduce your risk.

Travelers should be aware of their medical history, any existing conditions, and any medications they may be taking that could increase their sensitivity to heat, said Dr. Myhanh Nguyen, the department chair of the Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation's travel medicine clinics. She added that young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible.

Before your journey, discuss any concerns with your doctor or a doctor at a travel clinic. Then, when traveling, take into account your attire, lodging, and everyday activities.

According to Claudia Brown, a health scientist at the National Center for Environmental Health's Climate and Health Program of the Centers for Disease Control, "It's important for everyone to reduce the risk of heat-related illness through protective behaviors." Ms. Brown said that the most efficient way to lessen that danger is to seek out an air-conditioned area when one is available.

Beyond air conditioning, Ms. Brown advised limiting outdoor activities, particularly during the warmest period of the day, midafternoon, and avoiding direct sunlight. To reduce your body temperature, "wear loose, light-fitting clothing, stay hydrated, and take cold showers or baths."

Dr. Nguyen said that it's important to remain hydrated.

It's crucial to have an external supply of water as well, such as a water fountain or swimming pool, in addition to hydrating orally. In addition, Dr. Nguyen advised paying strict attention to any official announcements or warning systems, avoiding busy, densely populated locations, and looking for shady or forested regions.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and use plenty of sunscreen.

Can travel insurance be useful?

According to Beth Godlin, head of the travel insurance company Aon Affinity Travel Practice, the majority of travel insurance plans currently do not include explicit terms protecting excessive temperatures.

"Cancel for any reason policies will allow you to cancel based on the weather, as do newer policies that allow you to interrupt your trip for any reason," the travel expert stated. You shouldn't rely on your travel insurance to cover heat, other than that. Emergency treatment for heat-related illnesses like heat stroke or dehydration may be covered by policies, but even then, the coverage is for the sickness that results from the heat, not the heat itself.

According to Ms. Godlin, "Travel insurance policies have changed, and in the next few years this may become something that's covered." It isn't precisely a well-known phenomenon.

Can my plans be changed?

According to Joyce Falcone, owner of the Italian Concierge, a New Jersey-based travel firm that specializes in vacations and tours to Italy, this summer's congested circumstances in Europe offer little space for last-minute alterations or cancellations that will be paid.

Many of Ms. Falcone's customers, she said, preferred to remain near the Italian shore rather than visit sweltering towns. However, vacationers should not demand returns if they abruptly cancel tours, drivers, hotels, and other arrangements.

Vendors don't have a lot of room for maneuvering because of the tight scheduling, according to Ms. Falcone. They are working hard to support themselves but are working long hours.

How do the natives escape the heat?

They travel to the beach. says Ms. Falcone. "They're like New Yorkers who leave the city and go to the Jersey Shore or the Hamptons," said the speaker.

While not all Europeans have access to beaches, many go to relatives' houses in the countryside to get away from the suffocating concrete of cities.

How do you stay cool in the city if you can't travel to the beach?

You are so confined to the city. Before 10 a.m. or after the sun has set, try to avoid walking throughout the day. During the warmest hours of the day, consider taking a siesta in the Spanish tradition. Catacombs in Rome or tunnels from the American Civil War in Barcelona are examples of underground sites that are more interesting to explore. Consider attending a movie, which is often air-conditioned. And even if it may be too late this year, think about going to the mountains in the summer or, even better, staying home throughout the summer.

The best time to go is out of season, according to Ms. Falcone. "The temperature is colder, and there are fewer people. Consider November, December, January, or February at this time. That time of year is beautiful in Italy.