Lehigh County: Extreme Heat Prompts Need for Neighbors to Check on Neighbors

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In light of the upcoming extreme temperatures Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency would like to remind you to take simple steps to prevent heat-related illness. Extreme heat is known as the “silent killer,” because 1,500 people a year die in the US due to heat-related illness – more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is important to prepare now to reduce your risk to heat-related illness.

Take the flowing steps to protect yourself:

Be Informed

  • Certain groups of people are more at risk from high temperatures
      • Infants and young children
      • People aged 65 or older
      • People with chronic medical conditions
  • Never leave your children or pets in a vehicle
  • Pay close attention to heat advisories or warnings (local television, radio and internet)
  • The two most common types of heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
    • Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
        • Heavy sweating
        • Paleness (skin is a lighter color than normal)
        • Muscle cramps
        • Tiredness
        • Weakness
        • Dizziness
        • Headache
        • Nausea or vomiting
        • Fainting
    • What you should do:
        • Move to a cooler location
        • Lie down and loosen your clothing
        • Apply cool, wet clothes to as much of your body as possible
        • Sip water
  • Symptoms of heat stroke:
      • An extremely high body temperature (above 103° F)
      • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
      • Rapid, strong pulse
      • Throbbing headache
      • Dizziness
      • Nausea
      • Confusion
      • Unconsciousness
  • What you should do:
      • Call for emergency medical attention
      • Get the victim to a shady area
      • Cool the person rapidly (cool clothes or even a bath)
      • Do no give the victim any fluids (like water) to drink

 

Plan for periods of Extreme Heat

  • Service air conditioner before hot weather arrives, and obtain window fans to help cool your home
  • Know where to go when the weather heats up. Find cool, indoor places to spend time on hot summer days, such as a local library, shopping mall or museum.

Know what to do in Hot Weather

  • Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible
  • Drink plenty of water during the day – don’t wait until you are thirsty!
  • If you must be outside in the heat, limit activity to morning and evening hours, and try to rest often in the shade
  • Dress in light-colored and loose-fitting clothing, a hat, sunglasses and an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen
  • Check on those who may be more at-risk from high temperatures

For more information on extreme heat, call the Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency at (610) 782-4600.

 

Information from Lehigh County Emergency Management Services – John Kalynych, provided to TVL by:
Joshua Siegel
Public Information Officer
County of Lehigh, Office of the County Executive
17 S. 7th Street, 4th Floor, Suite 436
Allentown, PA 18101
www.lehighcounty.org