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There are many ways, places to survive the heat

July 21, 2011
Morning Journal News

If hot weather is your cup of tea, you should really enjoy the next few days. Keep in mind, however, that excessive heat is the top cause of death when it comes to weather and natural disasters.

More people in this country die from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The area will experience excessive heat during the next several days. A heat advisory was issued yesterday for Columbiana County.

Health professionals who all too often see people suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke are recommending taking special precautions the remainder of the week.

The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures to reach the low to mid-90s, with dew points pushing 70. It will be downright hot and humid. As a result, the heat index will be pushing the 95 to 100 degree range in the afternoon.

Air conditioners and fans will be running full speed at many homes and businesses.

For those who are forced to work outdoors, knowing the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke can save lives.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature, according to the CDC. Symptoms include an extremely high body temperature; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; and confusion and unconsciousness.

Get immediate medical attention if you know someone with these symptoms.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids, the CDC reported. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

The CDC reported the symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting.

The symptoms will go away after the person is moved to a cool environment, provided cool, nonalcoholic drinks and bathed in cool water.

Check on elderly or sick neighbors to make sure they are dealing with the hot temperatures.

The Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Department is taking special precautions during this heat emergency. Firefighters will be going into the community and checking residents on a "special needs" list kept at the fire station which was compiled through mailers sent out by the county Emergency Management Agency.

Anyone who wants the department to check on an elderly person or someone with special needs in the Glenmoor area can call the emergency number at 330-385-5627 to make arrangements.

Firefighters will have cold drinks to hand out, and at the fire station on Annesley Road, which will be available for those who need to get in out of the heat for awhile.

The Area Agency on Aging 11 released a list of cooling centers in Mahoning and Trumbull counties and urged all persons over 60 years of age, who don't have air conditioning, to head to a community meal site, senior or wellness center, library or even a shopping mall during the day to avoid overheating.

A list of congregate meal sites in Columbiana County released by the AAA11 includes the CAA housing building in Lisbon, the Kiwanis building in Salineville, the Fawcett Apartments in East Liverpool, the Shoub Towers in Wellsville, the First United Methodist Church in Leetonia and the Salem Area Visiting Nurses Association in Salem.

Everyone in the next several days should make sure to drink plenty of nonalcoholic beverages, replace salt and minerals lost due to sweating, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen and schedule outdoor activities for the morning and evening. Pace yourself in your outdoor activities and find a cool place indoors.

And, please, make sure your pets are also protected from the heat and have plenty of cool water to drink.

As with any extreme weather situation, common sense is the best defense.



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