DALLAS/FORT WORTH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The American Red Cross North Texas Region has provided some helpful tips and safety warnings to prepare for a heat wave, according to a press release from the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross stated that next week may bring some of the highest temperatures this summer and “a little preparation can go a long way in helping keep you, your family and your fur babies safe during intense heat.”
The following is a list of key terms to pay attention to in the occurence of extreme heat conditions:
- Extreme Heat Watch – issued if the potential for extreme heat could occur within the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Extreme Heat Advisory – issued if the forecasted Heat Index is expected to hit 100 degrees. This type of weather condition increases the potential for heat related illness.
- Extreme Heat Warning – issued if the forecasted Heat Index is expected to hit or exceed 105 degrees. This type of weather condition significantly increases the potential for heat related illness.
According to the release the spending too much time in the extreme heat and humidity can make it hard for hard for our bodies to stay cool which can result in heat-related illness.
The Red Cross provided a list of heat related illness including:
- Heat Cramps – the mildest heat-related illnesses, are involuntary muscle spasms and pain that usually occur in the arms, legs, and stomach.
- Heat Exhaustion – is more severe than heat cramps and affects the entire body, not just your muscles. Heat exhaustion occurs when your body is unable to cool itself.
- Heat stoke – is the most dangerous of all heat-related illnesses. It develops when the body’s systems are overwhelmed by heat and stop functioning – usually because the signs of heat exhaustion are ignored. Heat stroke can lead to permanent damage of your body’s organs and can be life-threatening.
In addition, five tips are listed below that the Red Cross provided to stay safe during extreme heat:
- Stay Aware – watch weather warnings and adhere to the safety precautions. NEVER leave children or pets in your vehicle.
- Keep Cool – if you do not have a working air conditioner, seek relief during the hottest part of the day in places such as libraries, theaters or malls.
- Stay Hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
- Limit Outdoor Activity – avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day and wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
- Stay Connected – check on friends, family and elderly neighbors who may not have air conditioning or live alone.
For tips and tools on how to prepare for the extreme summer heat download the free Red Cross Emergency App.