As the first major heat wave of the year settles in, the Fire Department urges citizens to take precautions, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Assistant chief Steve Dishman also says it's important to be able to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
"Heat exhaustion typically is, you become very weak. You become cool and clammy," Dishman explained. “Heat stroke, that's an immediate medical crisis. Typically, when somebody goes into that it would take someone else to recognize because when it onsets it actually can render you unconscious very quickly."
Dishman and Battalion Chief Brian Alderson have produced an informational video and posted it to the department's Facebook page. Additional information is available on the City’s website.
Temperatures today through Friday will be in the mid-90s, with heat index values as high as 100 degrees. The heat index refers to a number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.
What you should do when the weather is extremely hot:
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- 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.