Preparing for High Heat

Know what to do when the summer heat waves arrive

This week, Fort Wayne will see a rise in temperatures that, some sources say, will go over 100 degrees with humidity levels above 60%!

While, this is good news for pools and lakes, safety is a concern. Heatwaves can cause dehydration and strokes. No matter where you are, it’s important that you prepare yourself as best as possible.

Here are tips for everyone to follow:

  • Stay hydrated – drink even more water than usual, as high heat causes significant bodily water loss
  • Wear light clothing
  • Take breaks in the shade – if you are working outside, small breaks can make a big difference
  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature rises above 95 degrees – you will not reduce body temperature, only increase the air flow
  • Check up on anyone without air conditioning, especially elderly persons
  • Inspect air conditioning units and ducts for proper insulation
  • Cover windows with drapes or shades – you could also use window reflectors
  • Use a powered attic ventilator or attic fan
  • Watch your vehicle – lock it only when no one is inside, and make sure kids cannot access it when playing outside
  • Look out for anyone displaying signs of heat stress that could cause death:
    • Heat Cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
    • Heat Exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
    • Heat Stroke is a life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
    • The Red Cross offers advice on caring for someone who is suffering from heat stress.

Heat is the number one weather-related cause of death. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer by following this advice and watching for warning signs.

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