Take precautions during this weekend’s heat wave

Published 2:55 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

This has been an extremely hot summer, but temperatures this weekend from the west coast to the east coast are expected to be in the 90s and above. To Northeast Tennesseans, this is HOT, and it will call for extra caution to mitigate any dangers of heat illnesses. The extreme heat could also challenge some’s ability to keep their homes cool, especially if they do not have air conditioning.
The National Weather Service has issued numerous heat advisories for this weekend, warning people to protect themselves by staying inside, hydrating and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day.
If you have outdoor activities to do, please try to do them in the morning hours. Temperatures are expected to be much milder — in the 70s — for at least the first few hours of daylight. Get your daily jog or run in early, and if possible, any outdoor chores you have to do.
During the heat of the day, stay inside in as cool a place as you can.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Wear light clothing. Be aware of symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as headache, nausea, heavy sweating, faintness, fatigue, and muscle cramps.
Never, ever leave a child or pet unattended in a car. This heat can especially be deadly for children and animals left even for just a minute or two in a car. Bring pets inside or place them where they have plenty of shade, cool grass and water. Do not leave pets on pavement or concrete.
Water yards and plants in the morning or in the late evening when it’s cooler. When you leave the house, turn up the air conditioning to at least 78. That will help conserve some energy.
Let’s all be aware of others during this heat wave. Check on elderly neighbors or family often to make sure they are staying cool. Check on vulnerable neighbors as well.
Find a cool spot to enjoy…if you’re going to the lake, do not stay in the sun long at a time. It’s important to monitor how much time you’re spending in the sun, especially for older adults and children, and to drink plenty of water.
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin, and sunglasses to help keep your eyes safe. Wear loose-fitting clothing.
If you’re hiking in the mountains, make sure to stay hydrated. For some, this will be a good weekend to hang out at the mall and do some shopping, where it’s cool inside.
Sunburn, mild irritation or blisters can be treated at home or as directed by a physician. A sunburn becomes an emergency when it is accompanied by fever or chills, nausea or vomiting, or confusion.
Worrisome signs of heat cramps include muscle spasms in the legs or stomach. You can treat cramps by having the person rest in a cool place and giving those who are conscious small amounts of fluid.
Here, in Northeast Tennessee, we are lucky. Temperatures are expected to only reach the mid-90s. In Death Valley, Calif. — one of the hottest places in the world — temperatures today are expected to reach 122 degrees, a possible record, while Las Vegas could see highs of 109 degrees, and even New York City, 95 degrees.
Heat advisories are expected to end Sunday, but the warm temperatures are expected to be with us through mid-week, according to the NWS.

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