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Are you ready for extreme heat?
The City of Garland Office of Emergency Management would like to make sure that you are aware of the problems associated with extreme heat. Heat can affect anyone, although young children, elderly, and people with health problems are most likely to be affected. Some individuals may be more susceptible to heat sickness than others. Therefore, it is important for everyone to be prepared for heat emergencies.
Heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat and humidity. The National Weather Service (NWS) increases public alerts during periods of excessive heat. If a heat wave is predicted or happening there are several steps that an individual can take to lessen the effects of extreme heat on the body.
First, slow down. Avoid strenuous activities. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, typically between 4:00 am and 7:00 am.
Second, stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Try to go to a public building with air conditioning for several hours each day. Remember that electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
Third, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy.
Fourth, drink plenty of water regularly and often. Your body needs water to help keep cool. Drink plenty, even if you do not feel thirsty. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good initially, but these beverages increase the effect of heat on your body.
Finally, eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
Talk with your family members about what to do during heat emergencies. Complete your family disaster plan and disaster supplies kit. Deciding what to do before a disaster or emergency strikes is your best defense.