PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency wants to remind residents of the dangers of the high temperatures impacting Mississippi.
According to the National Weather Service, most of the state will see heat indices, or “real feel,” of more than 100 degrees today. Some areas in the northwest and the Mississippi Delta will see heat indices near 115 degrees. The forecast over the weekend and into next week also calls for actual temperatures to approach and perhaps exceed 100 degrees.
“I have already seen reports that local responders in north Mississippi have had to go to the aid of the elderly that didn’t have air conditioning,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “It is imperative that you check on the elderly and any neighbors that have any special needs. Given the forecast that these heat indices could extend through the weekend, I urge local officials to open cooling centers for citizens during the hottest part of the day.”
National Weather Service data shows 92 people died as a result of heat in 2013. It’s important to remember “beat the heat, check the backseat.” NEVER leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, not even for one minute. If you see a child in an unattended vehicle, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
- 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.
- Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities.
- Drink plenty of water. 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.
- Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION; IF SOMEONE HAS SYMPTOMS:
- Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale or flushed.
- Weak pulse.
- Normal body temperature is possible, but temperature will likely rise.
- Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches are possible.
IF SOMEONE HAS SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION:
- Move the victim to a cool area.
- Increase cool water intake.
- Place cool, wet towel on neck and under arms.
- Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE; CALL 9-1-1 IF SOMEONE HAS THESE SYMPTOMS:
- High body temperature (105+).
- Hot, red, dry skin.
- Rapid, weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.
- Victim will probably not sweat unless victim was sweating from recent strenuous activity.
- Possible unconsciousness.
For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter.