The following are common signs of Heat-related illness: nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating, and headaches.
If you or someone you know experiences any of the previous symptoms, you should provide him/her/ yourself with the following: a cool place, cool water, ice packs, cool, damp cloths. If drinking water is refused by the victim, he/she vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1; heat stroke and heat exhaustion are nothing to take lightly.
Although the elderly and young children are most vulnerable to the heart, temperatures over 90 degrees puts everyone at risk. Here are some tips to help keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe this summer season:
· Prepare: Have a plan for where to go for relief, what to do if electric or air condition goes out, and how to help those who are suffering from a heat-related illness.
· Stay hydrated: Carry water and drink continuously- avoid sugary, alcoholic or caffeinated drinks.
· Dress for the heat: Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light colored clothes when it is hot.
· Eat small meals often
· Avoid strenuous activity and slow down
· Stay indoors when possible
· Listen to NOAA Weather radio and the news for critical updates and know what the warnings mean
o Excessive Heat Watch—Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
o Excessive Heat Warning—Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
o Heat Advisory—Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit)
· Check on family, friends, and neighbors
· Do not forget about pets: Do not leave pets in the car, and make sure they always have the water and shade they need
· Learn Red Cross First Aid
For more information and a full heat wave checklist visit redcross.org and search “Heat Wave”.
The summer heat is here but, so is the local Red Cross! Not only do we offer tips and education about heat-related dangers and how to deal with them, our physical location is a cooling center to the public. If you need a break from the heat, our air-conditioned facility will provide you with a cool place to rest and plenty of water!
Other local businesses are teaming up to provide other cooling centers and City Utilities Bus Service offers free rides to cooling centers positioned on its normal route.
Beat the heat with your community and local Red Cross!
Story By: Elise Ayers, Communications Intern
Photo By: Greg Gaines, Disaster Services