Home ESTILOS-INFORMAWEATHER Essential Tips To Help You Stay Safe In Extreme Heat

Essential Tips To Help You Stay Safe In Extreme Heat

by Author Contribution
 According to a report from Public Citizen, an estimated 2,000 workers die, and 170,000 are injured by heat each year in the U.S.

Houston, TX

As we face another intense summer, it’s crucial to be prepared for the extreme heat. Did you know that heat-related fatalities annually outnumber those from hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes combined? In fact, FEMA is planning to add extreme heat to its list of disaster triggers. Many might not be familiar with how dangerous the heat can be, says Cy-Fair Fire Department’s Justin Reed.

 

             According to a report from Public Citizen, an estimated 2,000 workers die, and 170,000 are injured by heat each year in the U.S. The risk is particularly high for those in construction, agriculture, and delivery jobs.

 BEFORE THE HEAT

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in extreme heat. Incorporating specific foods into your diet like watermelon and cucumbers can also help you stay hydrated. NOTE to EDITOR: See attached tipsheet for more information on how to eat during extreme heat.

“One simple way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to monitor your urine,” shares Reed. “Drink enough so that you’re still peeing regularly, and your urine is relatively clear. Darker urine can be a sign of dehydration. Remember, your body loses water faster in the heat, so sip water throughout the day. No need to count cups or ounces, just pay attention to your body.”

DURING THE HEAT

  • Stay cool indoors. Spend time in air-conditioned places. “If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, consider visiting public places like malls, libraries, or community centers,” suggests Reed. “Make sure the air is moving around you to promote convective cooling!”
  • Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing. A wide-brimmed hat can also help keep you cool, shares Reed.
  • Use sunscreen. Protect your skin from sunburn, which can hinder your body’s ability to stay cool. More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the US every hour!
  • Avoid direct sun. Stay in the shade as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities during peak sun hours.
  • Try cooling techniques. “Contrary to popular belief, dousing yourself in water might make your heat stress worse due to high humidity preventing effective convective cooling,” says Reed. “Use fans or a cool cloth on your skin instead.”

AFTER EXPOSURE

Monitor for heat illness. Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include heavy sweating, weakness, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and a rapid pulse,” shares Reed. “If someone shows signs of heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately.”

Cool down gradually: If you’ve been exposed to extreme heat, Reed advises cooling down gradually. Drink water, take a cool shower, or use a damp cloth on your skin. If you are in danger of heat stroke/exhaustion rapid cooling is required, but otherwise slow cooling is preferred.

Have a little R&R (rest and recovery). Give your body time to recover after being in the heat. Avoid strenuous activities until you’ve fully recovered.

 Finally, be aware that urban areas can be significantly hotter than surrounding rural areas due to concrete, asphalt, and buildings absorbing and retaining heat, notes Reed. This can exacerbate heat-related health issues for city dwellers.


About CFFD:
The Cy-Fair Fire Department (CFFD) provides professional fire and emergency medical services to the citizens of Northwest Harris County, Texas. From its beginnings in the late 1950s, the Cy-Fair FD is now one of the largest, busiest combination fire departments in the United States, with over 38,000 emergency responses each year. CFFD covers the 164-square-mile area of Harris County Emergency Services District #9 (HCESD9) in the unincorporated part of Northwest Harris County. Responding from 13 stations strategically located throughout the territory, the 550-plus men and women of the fire department are among the best trained and equipped firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and dispatchers in the nation.

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