Heat

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faint­ing spells, and a pulse or heart rate greater than 100.

Peo­ple suf­fer­ing from heat stress should be moved to a cooler lo­ca­tion to lie down. Ap­ply cool, wet cloths to the body es­pe­cially to head, neck, arm pits and up­per legs near the groin area where com­bined 70 per­cent of body heat can be lost; and have the per­son sip wa­ter. They should re­main in the cool lo­ca­tion un­til re­cov­ered with a pulse heart rate is well un­der 100 beats per minute.

Signs of the most se­vere heatre­lated ill­ness, heat stroke, in­clude a body tem­per­a­ture above 103 de­grees Fahren­heit; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and al­tered men­tal sta­tus which can range from con­fu­sion and ag­i­ta­tion to un­con­scious­ness. Call 911 im­me­di­ately and take steps to cool the per­son.

While chil­dren are es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to heat ill­nesses, they may be un­able to ex­plain what is wrong but may act dif­fer­ently than usual. In ex­treme heat, con­sider changes in a child’s be­hav­ior to be heat stress.

Sim­i­larly, peo­ple with com­mu­ni­ca­tion-re­lated dis­abil­i­ties may have dif­fi­culty ex­press­ing a heatre­lated prob­lem. In ex­treme heat, look for a change in be­hav­ior as a sign of heat stress.

Older adults face ad­di­tional risk of heat stress and heat stroke, for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. The Na­tional In­sti­tute on Ag­ing’s fact sheet ex­plains more about how ex­treme

heat can af­fect se­niors.

To help pre­vent heat-re­lated ill­ness:

· Spend time in lo­ca­tions with air­con­di­tion­ing when pos­si­ble.

· Drink plenty of flu­ids. Good choices are wa­ter and di­luted sport elec­trolyte drinks (1 part sport drink to 2 parts wa­ter) un­less told oth­er­wise by a doc­tor.

· Choose light­weight, light-col­ored, loose-fit­ting cloth­ing

· Limit out­door ac­tiv­ity to morn­ing and evening hours

As air con­di­tion­ing use in­creases, elec­tri­cal grids can be­come over­whelmed caus­ing power out­ages. In power out­ages, peo­ple who rely on elec­tric­ity-de­pen­dent med­i­cal de­vices, like oxy­gen con­cen­tra­tors, may need as­sis­tance so check on fam­ily mem­bers, friends and neigh­bors who use this type of equip­ment.

Com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses can help lo­cal emer­gency man­agers and health depart­ments plan for the com­mu­nity’s health needs amid the sum­mer heat – and other emer­gency sit­u­a­tions that cause power out­ages – us­ing the HHS em­POWER Map. The HHS em­POWER Map pro­vides the monthly to­tal num­ber of Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries’ claims for elec­tric­ity-de­pen­dent equip­ment at the na­tional, state, ter­ri­tory, county, and zip code lev­els.

For more in­for­ma­tion about how to pre­vent heat-re­lated ill­nesses visit the HHS pub­lic health emer­gency pre­pared­ness web­site at http:// emer­gency.cdc.gov/dis­as­ters/ ex­treme­heat/. For in­for­ma­tion about how to bet­ter pre­pare for dis­as­ters and other emer­gen­cies, visit www. ready.gov.

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