Thursday, August 11, 2022

Tips to “Beat The Heat” this Summer in Southlake

Citizens of Southlake and North Texas are no strangers to high temperatures and humidity during the summer months. Every year, people across the country die due to heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to know what you can do to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. That’s why the City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants you to “Beat the Heat” this summer and learn precautions that can be taken during excessive heat.

Below you will find basic information on heat injury prevention and resources available to the community to stay cool.

PREVENTION TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT

STAY COOL
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment must start slowly and gradually increasing heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of sweat.
  • NEVER leave children, senior citizens, or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a short time!
  • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
  • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
  • Check on the elderly. Take the initiative to visit seniors to look for signs of heat-related illnesses. It takes the elderly nearly twice the time younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the frail elderly is not sufficient to determine the condition of the senior or the home.
STAY HYDRATED
  • Drink more than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are drinking enough water.
STAY INFORMED
  • Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
  • Keep informed by listening to local weather and news.
  • Keep your friends, family, and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information. For more information on extreme heat, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

Extreme heat brings with it the possibility of heat-related illnesses. The following table lists these illnesses, their symptoms, and the first aid treatment.

HEAT CRAMPS

Symptoms
Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating

First Aid

  • Get the victim to a cooler location.
  • Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.
  • Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.
HEAT EXHAUSTION

Symptoms
Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed – weak pulse. Average body temperature is possible, but the temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.

First Aid

  • Get the victim to lie down in a cool place.
  • Loosen or remove clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet clothes.
  • Fan or move the victim to an air-conditioned place.
  • Give sips of water if the victim is conscious.
  • Be sure water is consumed slowly.
  • Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.
HEAT STROKE

A severe medical emergency

Symptoms
High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. The victim will probably not sweat unless they were sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.

First Aid

  • Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler environment.
  • Removing clothing Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.
  • Watch for breathing problems.
  • Use extreme caution.
  • Use fans and air conditioners.​
SUNBURN

Symptoms
Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches

First Aid

  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.
  • Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM ERCOT

  • Turn the thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees.
  • Set programmable thermostats to higher temp when no one is home.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Limit the use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.)
  • If you cook indoors, use a microwave or slow cooker.
  • Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours.
  • Unplug devices when you’re not using them.
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights.
  • Close blinds and drapes during the late afternoon.

Other Resources:

Tracking the power grid capacity: https://www.ercot.com/

How to track power outages/report power outages:

Learn More About Heat Safety Tips