Tips for staying safe in a heat wave

Hot weather conditions are expected to continue through the week and into the weekend. Weather experts say the heat index could exceed 100 degrees.

People who have heat-related illnesses should take steps to stay in a cool place and if help is needed, call 9-1-1. Heatstroke is an emergency and is the failure of the body's heat-regulation mechanisms resulting from excessive exposure to intense heat. Symptoms of a heatstroke include high fever, dry skin, collapse, and possibly convulsions or a coma.

Here's some tips of what to do and how to stay safe in extreme hot weather:

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

For more heat safety tips and resources from the National Weather Service, click HERE.

Photo: MGN

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