According to the National Weather Service (NWS) much of the Eastern portion of the United States is headed into a Heat Wave that is expected to continue through Friday or Saturday of this week. According to NWS, afternoon temperatures could reach in the mid- to upper-90s and lead to dangerous heat index values of 100°F to 105°F. These above-normal temperatures can elevate body temperatures to dangerous levels and even cause damage to the brain and critical organs if individuals do not take enough precautions. Although anyone exposed to continued above-normal heat is a risk, factors including old age, obesity dehydration and drug and alcohol abuse can limit the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Be sure to follow these safety guidlines, provided by the American Red Cross, to keep you and your family safe during this extreme weather.
Responding Appropriately During a Heat Wave
* Listen to a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
* Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
* Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
* Eat small meals and eat more often.
* Avoid extreme temperature changes.
* Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
* Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
* Postpone outdoor games and activities.
* Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
* Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
* Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
* Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.