WHAT THE WEATHER SERVICE IS TALKING ABOUT
- Excessive Heat Watch– Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Heat Advisory– Heat Index values are forecasting to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs= 100-105° Fahrenheit).
- Excessive Heat Warning– Heat Index values are forecasting to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs= 105-110° Fahrenheit).
- If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
In Warren Township, the local cooling center is the Warren Township Library during their working hours.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radiofor critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
WHAT THE UTILITY COMPANIES SUGGEST
FirstEnergy’s utilities also offer some common-sense hot weather tips customers can follow to stay comfortable while using electricity wisely during this period of high demand:
- Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow. Every degree a customer can increase the temperature in their home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the hottest summer days. Don’t cool an empty house.
- During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting interior temperatures.
- Use fans – moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days. Ceilingfans cool fast and cost less than air conditioning.
- Use a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home, and to reduce the temperature before arrival back home.
- Only operate window air conditioners when someone is in the room.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers as full as possible. Frozen or cold items in therefrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work the refrigerator has to do to maintain a lower temperature.
- Close rooms that aren’t used regularly during the summer, and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms, as well.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work.the air conditioner will do.
- Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
FROM THE RED CROSS: During heat waves people are susceptible to three heat-related conditions. Here’s how to recognize and respond to them.
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
- Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area.
- Give an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as a commercial sports drink, fruit juice or milk. Water may also be given. Do not give the person salt tablets.
Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Heat exhaustion often affects athletes, firefighters, construction workers and factory workers. It also affects those wearing heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment.
- Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
- Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes. Milk or water may also be given. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes.
- If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 9-1-1or the local emergency number.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning.
- Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures.
- Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1or the local emergency number immediately.
- Rapidly cool the body by immersing the person up to the neck in cold water, if possible OR douse or spray the person with cold water.
- Sponge the person with ice water-doused towels over the entire body, frequently rotating the cold, wet towels.
- Cover the person with bags of ice.
- If you are not able to measure and monitor the person’s temperature, apply rapid cooling methods for 20 minutes or until the person’s condition improves.