KEEP YOUR COOL

It’ll be a hot time in the old town this week.

The local Red Cross and the National Weather Service have issued heat advisories and warnings for Warren and surrounding areas through Friday, with heat indices topping out in the mid-nineties.

“Excessive heat can cause numerous safety and health issues, including heat stroke and even death,” said Pam Masi, executive director with the local Red Cross. “We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather, and we have tips which we encourage community members to keep in mind this week and throughout the summer.”

Their first recommendation is never leave children or pets in a car. The inside temperature of a vehicle can quickly reach 120 degrees even on a cooler day. It seems like this is common sense, but every year people and animals are killed.

Drink plenty of fluids, avoid caffeine and alcohol; avoid extreme temperature changes; wear loose fitting clothing and avoid dark colors that 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 and take frequent breaks; check on family friends and neighbors who spend much of their time alone or are susceptible to the heat.

Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering and that they have plenty of cool water. If you do not have air conditioning go to a school, library, theater or malls for relief in the hottest part of the day.

Excessive heat can lead to cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke which can be life threatening. If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, such as cool, moist pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache nausea, dizziness or weakness, loosen tight clothing and move them to a cooler area. Body temperature can be reduced by spraying them with water or covering them with wet cloths. If they are conscious, they should drink water slowly. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911.

Heat stroke symptoms include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature. Call 911 immediately. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to the neck in cold water, if possible, spray with cold water and cover with cold, wet towels or bags of ice. If immersing in water, monitor the person constantly to keep their head above water.

A National Weather Service hazardous weather outlook is calling for a strong cold front by Friday, reducing temperatures, but bringing the threat of strong to potentially severe thunderstorms.