heatJuly and August tend to be two of the busiest months for moving, especially for college students and young professionals starting their careers. Among all the obstacles faced when moving, one thing you don’t want to worry about is coping with the extreme heat. It can be dangerous to ignore the risks, from dehydration to heat exhaustion. Use these tips to help you handle the weather:

Stay Hydrated

The most basic advice for all hot-weather activities, and yet many people ignore it or misapply it. The best way to stay hydrated is to have a lot of water at hand—have a water bottle and keep it filled. Some sports drinks are okay, but remember that they are mostly as sugary as sodas and not especially healthy. Soda or beer are not ideal, because they can make you lose water almost as fast as you consume it.

Another point is you should eat something, but avoid extremely salty foods, or foods with a lot of fats. Go for several small protein snacks rather than handfuls of chips or crackers.

And remember, if you find yourself no longer sweating of developing a constant headache, stop and drink plenty of water, and give yourself a long break to avoid dehydration.

Dress For It

Obviously, you want lightweight, loose fitting clothing, like workout gear made of linen or cotton. Avoid dark colors, because those absorb and hold onto heat longer. It’s also a good idea to keep sunglasses at hand so you’re not dazzled going from indoors to outdoors, and a hat to help keep the sun off. Even if it feels too warm inside, protect your head outdoors.

It should go without saying that you should wear sunscreen and be ready to reapply it several times during your move. Sunburns are no joke, especially if you need to keep going out in it all day long.

Start Early

Another thing to do is to get started before the heat really sets in. In most places, the hottest hours are from about 11 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. Find out what the forecast weather is for your area, especially when the heat will spike, and try to get the truck and helpers there before everything melts. Give yourself at least two or three hours in the morning, and be prepared to schedule the lightest work for the hottest time of the day.

Also, it’s okay to take a break for a while to give your body a chance to cool off and relax. Maybe you can arrange for two shifts of helpers or plan to get all the boxes out in the morning, and have pros show up in the afternoon or evening.

Keep It Cool

Make sure you have electricity in both the place you’re moving from and moving to, and keep the AC turned on. You’ll waste electricity coming and going, but you’ll also keep your possession—especially electronics—safer, and you’ll have respite from the heat. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of air conditioning the entire world, you can also get big fans to make sure air is circulating, and have all the windows open.

Consider Using Pros

Finally, think carefully about the cost to hire professional movers. Even if you get a couple guys for two hours (the usual minimum), they can take the most difficult work off your hands. They are paid to know how to work efficiently and to take care of themselves while moving. It might be a couple hundred dollars you aren’t sure if you can spend, but that’s money that protects you, your family, and friends from heat exhaustion.

And as always, Gerber Moving & Storage is ready to help you, no matter how hot it gets.