In some areas, cooling stations are offered as a respite from the soaring temperatures and high humidity. Salvation Army facilities are opening cooling centers during the afternoon to allow persons to be in a safe and cool environment. For information on a local Corp or Boys & Girls Club where you can cool down this summer call 918-587-7801.
Shelters are working hard to accommodate those in the most need such as the homeless or those who may not have adequate cooling. At particular risk are older people, although people of any age or fitness level sometimes develop heat-related symptoms.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion are two the most common heat-related illnesses. Signs of heat exhaustion include pale, moist skin; heavy sweating and nausea. Symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; shallow breathing and high body temperatures. If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion to seek a cooler place, loosen tight clothing and drink cool water every 15 minutes. Anyone who might be suffering from heat stroke is advised to call 911.
Proactive measures to take during this period are:
- Stay cool
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration may contribute to many health issues, especially in the young and elderly
- Check on neighbors and relatives
- Stay out of the sun, as much as possible, especially during the afternoon hours when the heat will be highest
- Monitor National Weather Service Radio and local media to be aware of heat advisories and warnings as they occur
- Plan now what steps to take for long periods of heat