MEMA Issues Tips to Protect Yourself from Extreme Heat

PEARL – Residents affected by Hurricane Isaac are reminded to be careful while cleaning up storm related debris, making repairs to their home or working in areas that are not air conditioned. Heat related illnesses can be deadly. Here are some tips to help keep you safe from the heat:

Protect yourself by:

  • 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.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • 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:

  • 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.

Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • 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.
  • Unconsciousness.

If someone has these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information, visit us online at www.msema.org. You can also follow us on Twitter using keyword MSEMA and on Facebook under Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

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