“People just need to take it easy and to stay hydrated,” Fire Chief Patrick Draper said.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham is predicting temperatures close to 100 for the next three days and the heat index is expected to exceed the 100-degree mark.
“Avoid working during the heat of the day, and drink plenty of fluids,” Draper said.
He said preferably people should drink plenty of water and avoid the use of alcohol.
“Keep hydrated,” he said.
Draper said people should learn the signs of heat exhaustion, which can lead to a heat stroke.
He said people who experience heat exhaustion have excessive sweating, muscle cramps and can feel faint or weak.
“If you recognize those signs, it’s definitely time to stop and cool off,” Draper said.
He said the warning signs for heat stroke vary but include extremely high body temperature, red, hot and dry skin, and no sweating.
Other symptoms include a throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and even unconsciousness.
Draper said 911 should be called immediately if someone is suffering from heat stroke.
He said the victim should be moved to shade and cooled off gradually with wet towels.
“You want to try and get their body temperature down gradually,” Draper said.
He said young children and the elderly are more prone to having a heat stroke.
“If you’ve had a heat stroke before, you’re more prone to having another heat stroke,” Draper said. “So if you have symptoms of heat exhaustion, don’t keep pushing it so you have a heat stroke.”
He said if someone is working outdoors, they should work during the early morning and late afternoon hours when it’s cooler.
“If at all possible, just avoid working outdoors altogether,” Draper said, adding, “Heat related illnesses go up during the summer months.”
Pell City Police Department Animal Control Officer Rose Ogden reminds pet owners that animals also need special attention during extreme heat.
“We recommend that you don’t take your pet with you to the store,” Ogden said.
She said even with a vehicle window completely open, an animal could die from the extreme heat in a matter of minutes.
She said dark colored animals get hotter quicker than light colored animals, and short-nose dogs have a harder time dealing with the heat.
“Don’t over exercise your dog on hot days,” Ogden said.
She also said to make sure there is plenty of drinking water accessible outside your home.
Ogden suggests dog owners purchase a baby pool so their dogs can cool off during the day.
She said make to sure to put the pool in a shady area of the yard.
Ogden said dog owners can fill up emptied plastic soft drink containers and place them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, they can put the frozen containers inside the baby pool before heading to work. The frozen containers will help the water stay cool during the day.
“Animals can die of heat quicker than people,” Ogden said.
David Atchison at email@example.com.