• John Frye

2022 Heat Wave


Central Texans know just how hot it can get during the summer. But this year will be one for the record books.


The heat can be lethal at times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 658 people die each year as a result of excessive heat. While air conditioning is prevalent in Texas homes, it can be difficult to find comfort or stay cool if there is a power outage. Here's how to stay healthy in the heat in the event of an emergency.


WHAT YOU CAN DO AT HOME

To report a power loss, call your electric provider first, according to Safeelectricity.org. Natural ventilation, such as battery-powered fans and windows, can also be used to help cool down, according to their website. Sun-facing drapes and blinds should be closed.

Also close doors to rooms that receive the most sunlight and place a cloth on the bottom entrance to keep hot air at bay.

To keep items fresh, keep the fridge and freezer doors closed. According to Safeelectricity.org, half-full or full refrigerators can keep food frozen for up to 48 hours. Meat, milk, and other dairy goods can last up to four hours in an uncovered fridge. After that, take those goods and place them in an ice-filled cooler.


TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Stay hydrated by drinking water, according to Safeelectricity.org. Avoid caffeinated beverages, alcoholic beverages, and heavy meals.

Also, stay on the coldest, lowest floor of your home and wear loose, lightweight clothing. This is due to the fact that heated air rises.

Many emergency-preparation websites recommend pre-freezing saturated bandanas or towels to use as needed to cool off your body. If you don't have time to freeze the bandanas or towels, you can still use the same approach by soaking them in cold water.

If possible, spend the most of your day in an air-conditioned public space, such as a library or shopping mall.

Avoid or postpone strenuous outdoor activities until the coolest portion of the day, according to the National Weather Service.

A first-aid kit should be kept in your home and automobile at all times.


HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

There are various sorts of heat-related disorders, according to the CDC, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash. The symptoms of each one differ.

People can pass out, have a high body temperature (103°F or above), hot, red, dry or damp skin, a quick, strong pulse, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and/or confusion during a heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, get them to a cooler location right away. Then use cool cloths or a cool bath to reduce the person's body temperature. If they don't improve in 30 minutes, call 911.

Heavy sweating, cold, pale, and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, disorientation, headaches, and fainting are all signs of heat exhaustion.

If you're having these symptoms, go somewhere cold, loosen your clothes, put cool, wet cloths on your body, or take a bath and drink some water. If you start vomiting or your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical help, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Visit the CDC's website for a complete list of heat-related sickness symptoms and how to treat them.


CHECK IN WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS

In the event of a power loss during hot weather, AARP recommends everyone to check on elderly people, neighbors, and the medically vulnerable.

During extreme heat events, the NWS also recommends keeping an eye on small children, newborns, and pregnant women.

Because their bodies don't adjust to heat as well as adults', young children and newborns are at risk of heat-related disease and mortality.


STAY CONNECTED

During hot weather, your county or municipal may create a cooling shelter to assist persons facing power outages or those who are homeless.

Make sure you have a mechanism to get shelter information from your local government officials. Following your local Emergency Management Agency on social media is a wonderful way to keep engaged.

You can also sign up for warnings from Warn Central Texas through text, email, or phone. Natural catastrophes, weather warnings, evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water advisories, and missing kid reports are all handled by this system.


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION

Eat ice cream and relax (just maybe not outside in the middle of the day)!