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Beat the Heat - Safety Tips

Post Date:07/13/2018 10:02 AM

Stay safe as summer heats up. Prepare yourself for the high temperatures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickness from the heat occurs when your body cannot compensate and properly cool you off. However, heat-related illness and death are preventable.

Before the next heat wave, or outdoor activity, follow these protective actions from the CDC and stay cool this summer:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned location as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.

 

Prepare in Advance

  • Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.

    • Columbia County’s cooling centers are open from June 1st – September 30th. If you have questions about our cooling centers, please email EmergencyManagement@columbia.gov.

  • Keep your home cool by doing the following:◦Cover windows with drapes or shades.

  • Weather-strip doors and windows.

  • Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.

  • Add insulation to keep the heat out.

  • Use attic fans to clear hot air.

  • Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.

  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.

 

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND

Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:

  • Heat Cramps Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs

    • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

  • Heat Exhaustion Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting

    • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

  • Heat Stroke Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness

    • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

 

Find more information on extreme heat preparedness at www.ready.gov/heat.

 (Information provided by FEMA and ready.gov)

 

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