The Tri-state area is expected to be hit with an extreme hear wave beginning Thursday, July 18th. The heat advisory is expected to bring temps that, when mixed with the humidity, will feel like triple digits. We're talking a heat index of 105 - 110 degrees. This is the kind of heat that we have to take seriously. According to the CDC, more than 600 people die every year from heat related illness. Children and the elderly and those who who are sick or overweight are at a greater risk. So then, what do we do to keep ourselves safe and prevent us and our loved ones from becoming a statistic?

According to Ready.gov, there are a number of precautions that we can take to prevent heat related illness or death:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Additional tips from Ready.gov include not using electric fans as "this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature" and finding shade if you are outside. Large brim hats also offer some protection and can reduce over exposure to the sun on your face. They also that you watch for symptoms of heat related illness. Symptoms include:

  • HEAT CRAMPS
    • Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
    • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
  • HEAT EXHAUSTION
    • Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
    • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
  • HEAT STROKE
    • Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
    • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

The bottom line is really to keep an eye on family and friends, don't do anything strenuous and try to stay in the AC as much as possible. Stay safe and cool!

[SOURCE: Ready.gov]