Millions of people across the country face extremely warm weather and high humidity this week and the American Red Cross has steps everyone should follow to stay safe.
Experts report a “heat dome” will cover most of the country and humidity will make most regions feel that temperatures are over 100 degrees. The National Weather Service reports excessive heat warnings are out for several areas and most of the country will feel the heat throughout the week.
It’s urgent that people take steps to stay safe during the excessive heat. Everyone should follow heat safety steps such as stay in air-conditioned areas, drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities. More safety information below.
High temperatures and humidity claim the lives of more than 600 people in this country every year. Those more at risk include adults age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, people who work outside, infants, children and athletes. Some medications make the effects of extreme heat worse. People with heart disease, poor blood circulation, obesity and mental illness are at risk for getting sick if the temperatures climb.
In addition to the free Red Cross app “Emergency”, the Red Cross First Aid app gives you instant access to information on handling common first aid scenarios, including heat emergencies. Download for free here or search for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life.
Learn about what to do to help someone with heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-caffeine and non-alcoholic fluids.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors without air conditioning, who are alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, seek relief from the heat in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
- Check on animals frequently. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.
MORE SAFETY INFORMATION
If the power goes out, take these important steps. Because of the ongoing drought, there is also a danger of wildfires occurring. Find out what to do here if wildfires occur.