ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Heat index values up to 95 degrees are expected in the Twin Tiers this week, especially in Elmira. Health officials say staying hydrated is now more important than ever.

According to Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith, residents should generally drink 8 to 10 glasses of water during days of extreme summer heat. This equates to more than two 500 mL bottles of water.

“The most vulnerable to the heat are the young children as well as the elderly,” said Darlene. “Those two age groups in particular should be very careful to either stay in the air conditioning or stay in the shade.”

For people who spend most of their time outdoors during the summer, including construction workers, more than 10 glasses of water are recommended during a hot day. This goes for those who typically exercise outdoors as well.

Health officials also remind residents that the more hydrated you are, the less likely you will get a heat-related illness. Heading to a shaded area is another option if water is unavailable.

“When we’re talking about dehydration, that can run an entire spectrum,” said Jon Rittenberger, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Robert Packer Hospital. “That can run from ‘I feel thirsty’ or the usual ‘I’m a little bit fatigued,’ and then that ranges into more severe heat illness where you can actually have kidney damage. And then, eventually at the end, it gets really dangerous when your core body temperature rises. That’s called heat stroke.”

Officials also urge residents to stay in touch with their local physician. If somebody you know falls into a severe case of dehydration, contact their physician or doctor immediately.