PEARL – As temperatures soar into the upper 90s and the heat index surpasses 100 degrees, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency wants to remind residents to take precautions to protect themselves from the hot weather.
“As all Mississippians know, it can get hot in Mississippi,” said MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham. “If you have to be outside, make sure you take the precautions to protect yourself from the dangerous heat. Make sure to check on elderly neighbors, as they are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.”
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are already reaching the 90s in Mississippi. NWS forecasters say heat indices will rise above 100 degrees next week. According to the NWS, 20 people died as a result of extreme heat in the U.S. in 2014. The number of heat related deaths has dropped dramatically from 92 deaths in 2013 and 155 deaths in 2012.
It’s also important to remember to “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 towels on neck and under arms.
- Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
Signs of heat stroke; call 9-1-1 immediately 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.
Local weather information and alerts are available through the NWS online at the following websites:
- North Mississippi: www.srh.noaa.gov/meg.
- Central Mississippi: www.srh.noaa.gov/jan.
- South Mississippi: www.srh.noaa.gov/lix or www.srh.noaa.gov/mob.
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.