An Excessive Heat Warning Follows. If you are a Jerome resident or visitor in need of a “Cooling Station”, the Jerome FD is offering the station to those in need. We also have water available. Please contact our Fire Chief Rusty Blair to arrange.
The Verde Valley and other low-lying areas are expected to approach or even exceed 108 degrees this weekend and into next week. As much as Arizona residents seem to treat the heat as no big deal or at worst a mild annoyance, it’s actually a serious health risk. Temperatures this high can put people at risk for heat-related injuries or medical complications, especially if they’re young, elderly, or have underlying medical conditions such as heart disease.
If you are not able to keep your residence cool, you should consider leaving your home for the day and staying with a friend, or head to a building that is air-conditioned until temperatures drop in the evening. Emergency Management and the Yavapai County Community Health Services, encourages everyone to share this information with others and to check on their neighbors, especially those who are elderly and live alone.
Those who have to work outdoors should drink plenty of fluids, take advantage of shade and take rest breaks.
Some things to know that will help you get through this weekend safely:
1. Know the signs of heat illness
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the path to a life-threatening heat stroke follows a fairly predictable series of steps, with several warning signs along the way.
· Thirsty: Being thirsty signals that you’re already starting to get dehydrated. As soon as you get thirsty, make it a point to drink some water and get out of the heat.
· Heat cramps: Cramping, pain and spams in your abdominal muscles and legs signals that you losing too much water and salt. Drink water and get inside.
· Heat exhaustion: Signs you are entering dangerous territory include “cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion.” However, your body temperature will be near normal. With these symptoms, get inside right away and drink half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes until you improve.
· Heat stroke: During heat stroke, your temperature spikes and can damage your brain and internal organs. Other signs include “hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing.” At this point, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Some ways to avoid heat illness include staying indoors; wearing lightweight clothes in light colors; taking regular breaks; and, naturally, drinking a lot of water.
2. Drink more water than you think
· Planning to hydrate is good. However, if you’re outside, you’re going to need a lot more than 8 cups of water for the day.
· In addition to temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, the summer humidity ranges between a balmy 10 percent and a throat-parching 2 percent. And that’s not hyperbole; you can drink an entire glass of water and your mouth will feel parched within a minute. Even worse, your sweat often evaporates almost as soon as it leaves your body, so you might not realize how much water you’re losing.
· If you’re going outside for any reason, take a bottle of water; for a hike take several bottles of water or a drinking system such as a Camelbak. Many people have died after heading into the wilderness in 110 degree heat with insufficient fluids. That’s why we recommend you stay indoors. If you just have to go outside, you might be tempted to wait until night when it’s cooler.
3. Car interiors can easily reach 150+ degrees!
· While you can exit a hot car when it becomes uncomfortable, children and pets don’t have the luxury of escaping. Under no circumstances leave your children or pets in the car, even “for a minute.”
· On a less life-threatening note, you also don’t want to leave food or electronics in the car. You really don’t want to clean a liquefied banana out of the upholstery (trust us), and high heat can ruin a smartphone or laptop battery pretty quickly.
· In addition, when entering the car, be careful not to touch any metal in the car and, if you have black leather seats, definitely cover them with a towel. Invest in a windshield cover and a fabric steering wheel cover.
For more tips on preventing illness and effects from excessive heat warnings, go to https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html