As the city approaches the height of summer, Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence Emergency Management Agency want to make sure residents stay safe during extreme temperatures. Residents should plan properly when the temperature starts to rise:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun
- Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty; avoid drinks with caffeine
- Limit your outdoor activities to the evening hours if possible
- Wear loose fitting clothing that is light in color; wear brimmed hats and sunscreen SPF 15 or higher
- Use a buddy system when working outdoors
- Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and people with special needs
- DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN CARS
- DO NOT open fire hydrants to cool down, it is against the law; report any open fire hydrant to the Fire Department
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related emergencies
- Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
- Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
- Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
- Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
- Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
- Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.
What is a Heat Hazard?
Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.
- Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for information on extreme heat.
- Install window air conditioners snugly.
- Insulate spaces around air conditioners for a tighter fit.
- Close any floor heat registers nearby.
- Use a circulating or box fan to spread the cool air.
- Keep heat outside and cool air inside.
- Install temporary reflectors, such as aluminum foil covered cardboard, to reflect any heat back outside.
- Keep the cool air inside by weather-stripping doors and windowsills.
- Consider keeping storm windows up all year. Storm windows can keep the heat of a house in the summer the same way they keep the cold out in the winter.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
These self-help measures are not a substitute for medical care but may help you recognize and respond promptly to warning signs of trouble. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy.
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