City of Houston activates heat emergency plan

Good afternoon! Due to temperatures and the heat index exceeding 100 degrees, the City of Houston has activated its heat emergency plan. If you have to be outside today, please use extreme caution. Today’s heat index is expected to reach its peak between noon and 6 p.m. Here are some tips for battling the heat:

Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.

Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment need to start slowly and gradually increase heat exposure over several weeks.
Check on the elderly. Take the initiative to visit seniors to look for signs of heat related illnesses. It takes the elderly nearly twice the time of younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the frail elderly is not sufficient to determine physical condition.

Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.

Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle.

A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.

If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: multi-service centers, malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.

Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.

Electric fans should only be used in conjunction with an air conditioner. A fan can’t change the temperature of a room; it can only accelerate air movement, and will accelerate the body’s overheating.

Stay alert to heat advisories. The National Weather Service declares a Heat Emergency when the heat index, a computation of the air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.

You can read more in the Houston Chronicle.

Please stay cool! Have a great afternoon!