Extreme Heat Conditions Possible Through Next Week

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What is the danger?

The National Weather Service warns that heat indices could climb to 108 degrees daily through Tuesday of next week. This raises the potential for heat illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and sunburn. These illnesses occur when the body is unable to properly cool itself. The body normally cools itself by sweating; but sometimes sweating just isn’t enough. Having a fever, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn or being dehydrated also limits the body’s ability to control body temperature.

If left untreated, a heat-related illness can lead to death.
What you should do:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay in the coolest part of the house and use electric fans.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Your body needs fluids to keep cool.  Avoid beverages with caffeine and alcohol.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you work outside, do it during the coolest part of the day.
  • Eat smaller meals, but eat more often.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and a hat.
  • Always use sunscreen. Sunburn makes the body’s job of keeping cool more difficult.
  • Although all are vulnerable to excessive heat, be sure to check on the elderly, children, and those who are ill as they are particularly at risk.
  • Ensure that your pets are provided with shade and adequate water.

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) monitors the state’s electrical system to ensure there is enough electricity to meet demand. On very hot days, high demand can cause ERCOT to issue a conservation alert during the peak hours of 3-7 p.m. If that occurs, residents are urged to take the following steps to help conserve power:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats as high as comfortable.
  • Cool rooms with fans.
  • Close blinds and drapes on windows that get direct sun.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, and electronic equipment.
  • Avoid using big appliances such as dishwashers between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m.

Residents should monitor local weather media and the National Weather Service for updated forecasts and possible Heat Advisories.

Where can I find out more?

Forecasts: National Weather Service
Power: CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracker
HCPHES: Harris County Public Health Heat Related Illnesses
Preparedness Information: http://www.readyharris.org