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Heat Emergency Preparedness 2019

Due to the current heat wave throughout the Commonwealth of PA this week, all residents have been advised to drink plenty of fluids (water, sports drinks), to stay out of the sun, to wear light colored, loose fitted clothing, and to run a fan or air-conditioner (if available) to keep cool.

Although anyone, at any time can suffer heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.

Persons age 65 and older are particularly susceptible to heat related illnesses and complications that can result during periods of high temperatures and humidity. Individuals with chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma or diabetes, may also find that their conditions worsen during these times. Persons who are homeless, and infants and young children, are also at increased risk for complications in the summer heat.

Please check on persons who are alone, have limited outside supports and who may be at high risk of heat relation illnesses. Make certain they are using a fan or air conditioner, if available to them. Encourage them to hydrate with clear liquids and to limit their intake o caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

Additional tips:

DO:
• Drink more fluids, don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which dehydrate the body.
• Wear lightweight, light colored clothing.
• Stay indoors, ideally in an air conditioned place.
• Visit your local library, mall, senior community center for drop-in center if you don’t have air conditioning. Check for hours of operation.
• Rest often in shady areas.
• Listen to the news and public announcements for heat advisories.

DON’T:
• Underestimate the seriousness of heat-related emergencies.
• Leave anyone, a person or animal, in a parked vehicle.
• Stay in the hot weather if you feel sick.
• Overexert yourself or work outside without taking breaks.
• Hesitate to call EMS and seek medical attention!

SIGNS OF HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES INCLUDE:
• Nausea
• Confused or disoriented
• Dizziness
• Skin is cool, pale or moist (possible heat exhaustion)
• Skin is hot, red or dry (possible heat stroke)
• Heavy sweating and headaches.

Due to the extreme hot weather over the next few days, please respond proactively and take steps to identify and check on persons at risk for heat related illnesses…including the elderly, disabled and homeless.

In the event of a medical emergency, please call 9 – 1 – 1.

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