Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Plan to Beat the Heat!

The National Weather Service predicts heat index values approaching 105 degrees Wednesday through the weekend. “Excessive heat is not just uncomfortable, but can lead to heat-related illness and even death. Both are preventable if you take precautions,” said Dale Lane, Shelby County Office of Preparedness Director. “Plan how to beat the heat this summer!”

Stay Informed: Check the forecast for changes in temperature and high heat index values.

Know the Terms:

Heat Index: Relative humidity plus air temperature or “how hot it feels.”

Heat Advisory: Heat index meets local advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (highs = 100 to 105 F).

Heat Wave: Prolonged excessive heat and humidity - typically for 2 or more days.

Excessive Heat Watch: Conditions are favorable for excessive heat to meet or exceed local criteria
in 24 to 72 hours.

Excessive Heat Warning: Heat index meets or exceeds local warning criteria for 2 days.

Vehicles: Never leave children or pets alone in an enclosed vehicle. Look before you lock. If you see a child or pet alone in an enclosed vehicle, call 9-1-1.

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Nutrition: Eat small meals often. Avoid food with high sodium content.

Clothing: Wear loose lightweight, light-colored clothes. Wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Plan Ahead: If you exercise outside, do so in early morning or early evening hours.

Stay Inside: If you have no air conditioning, move to lowest floor. Close drapes. Use a fan.
Take cool showers. Visit air conditioned public places (library, mall, or community center).

Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen and reapply as directed.

Be a Buddy! Check on those without air conditioning, seniors, outdoor laborers, infants, young children, those with medical conditions, and those who live alone.

Pets: Bring pets into air conditioning or ensure they have shade and cool water to drink.

Learn to Prevent Heat Illnesses:

Heat cramps:
Symptoms: Severe muscle spasms, usually in legs or abdomen; heavy sweats.
Remedy: Move to a cool place. Rest. Drink cool water. Lightly stretch affected muscles.

Heat exhaustion:
Symptoms: Heavy sweats; cool, moist, or flushed skin; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; confusion; fast, weak pulse; and exhaustion.
Remedy: Move to a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet towels. If conscious, give sips of cool water. If no improvement, if victim refuses water or vomits, call 9-1-1!

Heat stroke
The body cannot cool down by sweating due to dehydration. Life threatening!
Symptoms: Increased body temperature; decreased sweating; hot red skin; change in or loss of consciousness; rapid, strong pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; headache; nausea or vomiting; and seizures.
Remedy: Call 9-1-1! Move to a cool place. Apply cool, wet towels. Do not give liquids.

Resources: National Weather Service: www.weather.gov Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.ready.gov/heat End of Release

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