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Follow Red Cross Advice Ahead of Wildfires, Extreme Heat

Beat the Heat
In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events.

We’ve already seen an early start to the wildfire season—first in California with the Powerhouse Fire, and now in New Mexico with the Thompson Ridge Fire. Hot, dry conditions, along with the occurrence of “dry thunderstorms,” will continue to pose a wildfire threat to many areas.

If your community is at risk, follow tips from the American Red Cross to keep you and your family safe.

WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS

  • Post emergency phone numbers by every phone in your home.
  • Make sure driveway entrances and your house number or address are clearly marked.
  • Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside your home, such as a small pond, cistern, well or swimming pool.
  • Set aside household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, ax, hand saw or chain saw, bucket and shovel. You may need to fight small fires before emergency responders arrive.
  • Regularly clean roofs and gutters.
  • Have a plan:

  • Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood in case your primary route is blocked.
  • Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
  • Identify someone who is out of the area to contact if local phone lines are not working.
  • You should have emergency supplies ready to go in case you need to evacuate. The free Red Cross Wildfire App is also a great tool to have at hand—it tells you what to do before, during and after a wildfire, and sends you critical alerts when you need them.

    HEAT WAVE SAFETY

    To top it off, triple-digit temperatures are expected to bake the Central Great Plains and parts of eastern Colorado, Kansas and western Texas this week.

    In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity.

    During a Heat Wave:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • The American Red Cross First Aid App can help you prepare and respond to heat emergencies such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the free First Aid App gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. It also features videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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