Saturday, March 2, 2024

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:

ERCOT expects tight summer conditions, long-term outlook shows improvement

AUSTIN, TX, May 1, 2013 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, is preparing for a hot summer as it continues to evaluate future resource adequacy.

ERCOT today released its final summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA), which anticipates tight conditions this summer, along with the semiannual update to its long-term Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report, which shows some improvement since the previous report was issued in December 2012.

Tight summer ahead, conservation calls likely

With tight operating reserves expected this summer, especially during the late afternoon hours on the hottest days, it is likely that ERCOT will initiate conservation alerts or power watches
on some days. These alerts ask the public to reduce electric use to help ERCOT maintain reliability of the grid.

“We are expecting above-normal temperatures throughout summer in most areas of the ERCOT region,” said Kent Saathoff, an ERCOT executive advisor who has overseen various aspects of grid operations and system planning for several decades. “To help ensure there is enough generation to serve consumer needs, we likely will ask people to conserve power during the hottest hours of the hottest days.”

High temperatures typically drive electric demand in the ERCOT region, especially among residential consumers, who use more than half the electricity being consumed during the peak hours of the hottest days when air conditioner use is at its maximum.

ERCOT expects power demands this summer to peak at 68,383 megawatts (MW), slightly above the 68,305 MW all-time record set Aug. 3, 2011. One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes in the ERCOT region when electric use is highest, typically between 3 and 7 p.m. during the hottest days of the year.

The amount of generation available to serve peak electric needs is forecast at 74,438 MW, including 925 MW of new coal-fired generation from the Sandy Creek Energy Station in McLennan County and about 700 MW of new wind power resources.

More extreme scenarios could result in more generation outages than the forecast includes or an increase in demand of as much as 2,529 MW, if weather patterns similar to summer 2011 return.

“If generation outages exceed expected conditions during peak demand periods, or if we see a return of record-breaking conditions like those in 2011, ERCOT also may need to implement Energy Emergency Alert actions, with the possibility of rotating outages if needed to protect the grid,” Saathoff added.

Drought conditions are not expected to create problems for power plant operations over the summer months. However, if dry conditions persist, some plants may experience operational challenges later in the year.

ERCOT also released a preliminary outlook for fall 2013, which anticipates sufficient resources to serve expected demand.

Long-term outlook shows some improvement, work still needed

“ERCOT currently expects the planning reserve margin for summer 2014 to be slightly above its current 13.75 percent target, an improvement since the last long-term outlook was released in December,” said ERCOT CEO Trip Doggett.

The new CDR shows a planning reserve margin of 13.8 percent for summer 2014, up from 10.9 percent when the last report was released in December. While the peak electric demand forecast for summer 2014 is a little more than 69,800 MW, assuming historical average summer weather, the total amount of anticipated generation resources has increased to nearly 77,600 MW from slightly less than 75,000 MW in the previous report.

The new total includes 385 MW of gas-fired power and 40 MW of new storage capacity in Harris County, as well as 90 MW of gas-fired power in Fort Bend County, 50 MW of new solar power in Bexar County, and about 1,080 MW of new wind generation in various locations. Two projects currently under construction by Panda Power Funds also have adjusted target commercial operations dates to make more than 1,400 MW of new natural gas-fired generation available in time for 2014 summer needs.

The 10-year outlook, which is based on a “Low Economic Growth” forecast from Moody’s Analytics and 30-year average temperatures, shows peak demand increasing to nearly 69,700 MW in summer 2015, with growth continuing annually up to more than 76,000 MW in 2023.

Load growth forecasts become less certain in the longer term. Also, available generation capacity only includes resources that have interconnection agreements and any necessary air quality permits in place.

Although reserve margins after 2014 remain below the 13.75 percent target, the future outlook has improved continually since 2011. Additional resources are in various stages of review and may be added to future reports.

Consumers’ role in a reliable grid

“We will continue to ask consumers to use power wisely, especially during the summer peak demand hours of 3 to 7 p.m.,” said Doggett. “Voluntary conservation when it is needed most — along with ongoing efforts to expand other demand response options — can help us ensure there is enough power for everyone when generation resources are tight.”

To keep up with real-time grid conditions and know when conservation is most important, consumers can download the ERCOT Energy Saver app on Apple (available at the Apple store) and Android (available on Google Play) mobile devices, follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) or Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), or subscribe to EmergencyAlerts emails on http://lists.ercot.com.