Archive for the ‘extreme heat advisory’ Tag

Heat exhaustion vs. heatstroke: What are the warning signs and how should you react?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, over 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year in the United States – more than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, lightning or any other weather event combined.

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, but it’s important to identify the warning signs and to react swiftly and appropriately when they arise.

What’s the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Heat exhaustion is the precursor to heatstroke and is a direct result of the body overheating.

According to Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is identifiable by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, muscle cramps, nausea and headache.

These symptoms may develop over time or come on suddenly, especially during or following periods of prolonged exercise.

When heat exhaustion is not addressed, heatstroke can follow.

Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness and, without emergency treatment, it can lead to death. It results when your body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

“This is pretty complicated because a lot of things can happen. The short answer is it certainly can be fatal…,” Peter Sananman, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn Medicine, said.

At this temperature, your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles can also become damaged, leading to serious complications or death.
In the case of heatstroke, seeking medical attention is an absolute must, Sananman said.

In addition to a high body temperatures, the symptoms of heatstroke include altered mental state or behavior, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing and racing heart rate.

“Generally with heat exhaustion, a patient is sweating a lot, whereas with heat stroke, they’ve stopped sweating and are actually dry. It’s a good rule of thumb but isn’t always true,” he said.

If heat exhaustion is suspected, Sananman advises to remove the sufferer from heat and cool them down, if possible.

This can be done by getting out of the sun and removing or loosening tight clothes, misting the body with water or placing ice packs in the armpits and groin.

Additionally, rehydration is key. Consume plenty of water and avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or high amounts of sugar, he said.

If you or someone else is experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical attention.

How can you prevent heat-related illness?

Though it’s important to know how to identify heat exhaustion and heatstroke, both are preventable illnesses.
Have situational awareness, Sananman said.

“Recognize your own symptoms and either go to a cool location/rest or ask for help if you have difficulty getting around,” he said.
Additionally, understand that the body does acclimatize to heat, but it will take days to do so.

“So if you haven’t been in the heat in many weeks or months, just be aware that your body will not handle it as well as it may have in the past when you were acclimatized,” he said.

Proactively hydrating will help keep the body at a safe temperature.

“Drink more than what you think you should,” Kent Knable, EMS chief at Centre Life Link, said. “Once you start feeling thirsty, you’re actually dehydrated. So, you should be drinking to the point where you’re not feeling thirsty at all.”

Additionally, respond immediately if you start feeling ill.

“If you’re starting to feel ill, or are not feeling well, get out of the sun. Get into the shade,” Knable said. “Getting the sun off of you and some cool air blowing against you will help lower your temperature.”

Read more at: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/what-is-heat-exhaustion-heat-stroke-warning-signs-prevention-treatment/58866856

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Extreme heat cancels City Sports

The National Weather Service has indicated declared an Excessive Heat Warning for today.  The following information may be of benefit for residents today:

All City of Plymouth Recreation T-Ball Games scheduled for Today have been cancelled. 

The Plymouth Cultural Center building is currently open and the Geo-Thermal Air Conditioning System is operating and this can be a place to cool off at.  The building is open today  and Tomorrow (Thursday) until 9:00 p.m. 

If you choose to water your lawn the City would request that you only water you lawn during the overnight hours as this is the coolest time and there will be less water loss due to evaporation.   Lawn sprinkling at night will put the most water on the lawn.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), temperatures inside a car can climb from 78 degrees to 100 degrees in just three minutes, to 125 degrees in 6-8 minutes. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times as fast an adult.

Whether in a hot vehicle or a home without proper cooling, heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature and may result in an individual’s body temperature reaching 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Children’s bodies overheat easily, and infants and children under four years of age, also at risk are the elderly, especially those with medical conditions.

Remember your pets and your neighbor’s pets; they need to keep cool as well.  Pets should never be left in a car, even with the windows down.  Pets that may be outside should have lots of shade and plenty of cool water.  However, a day like today is a good day for pets to be brought indoors and basements often time offer a cool location on a hot summer day.

Tips for Helping to Deal with the Heat:
– Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

– Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

– Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
– Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place, is a much better way to cool off.

– Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

– NEVER leave anyone or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.

Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

– Infants and young children

– People aged 65 or older

– People who have a mental illness

– Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion orheat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

– Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

– Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.

– Try to rest often in shady areas.

– Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

AC tips from Midwest Energy Cooperative:

Be reasonable in your expectations: In this region, the summer design temperature for cooling equipment is about 89°. That means when it hits that temperature outside, your AC unit will run full tilt to keep your house cool.  Higher outside temps may cause your house to be a little bit warmer than what you’d really prefer.

Do NOT crank the thermostat down: Leave it set where you normally have it. Moving the dial from 76° to 72° will not change the temperature of the air coming out of the registers; it just makes the unit run longer to reach the desired temperature.  If your unit is already running full time to keep the house at 76°, moving the dial down will not make the house any cooler.

– It may not be the equipment’s fault: Leaky ductwork, poor insulation levels and air leaks in the home’s envelope all contribute to comfort issues. We tend to notice these issues more during extreme summer heat. Be sure to note areas in your home that are particularly uncomfortable this week so that you can do some further investigation when things cool down. Many modifications related to the home’s envelope don’t cost as much as you might think.

– Is the filter clean: Take a look and change it or clean it if you even THINK it’s dirty. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make your AC unit work harder than it needs to. That costs you extra money AND you won’t be as cool.

– Close your curtains, shades or blinds: Keeping the sunshine out will help keep the rooms as cool as possible. If you don’t like feeling like you are in a cave then just close them on the east side in the morning and the west side in the afternoon. If you have south facing windows you may want to keep them closed all day to keep the heat down in those rooms.

– Do not block supply registers OR returns: The key to comfort is to keep the air flowing. Move furniture around so that you are not blocking any supply or return registers.

– Use ceiling fans and/or box fans: Even warmer air feels cooler if it’s moving.

– Check the outdoor unit: Be sure it’s free of grass clippings, leaves, pet hair and other things. If the fins are plugged up, carefully brush them off. You can also carefully wash them with your garden hose. Having the fins clear allows the air to flow better and the unit to dissipate the heat it is pulling from your house.

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