The Florida Division of Emergency Management urges all Florida residents to practice heat safety, as dangerously hot and humid conditions continue statewide.
Heat index values have been climbing into the triple digits, causing much of the state to be under heat advisories and at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, according to a news release.
The heat index is the “apparent temperature or feels like temperature” that describes the combined effect of high air temperature and high humidity. The higher this combination, the more difficult it is for the body to cool itself. With prolonged exposure to extreme heat, your body is more at risk for experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, the release said.
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses:
- Heat Exhaustion symptoms include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating and weakness. Act quickly by moving to a cooler area, loosen clothing and sip cool water slowly. Seek medical attention if symptoms do not improve. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.
- Heat Stroke signs include confusion, hot and dry skin with no sweat, a rapid strong pulse and loss of consciousness. Call 911 immediately and move the person to a cooler area, loosen clothing and remove extra layers, and cool down with water or ice. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not received.
Heat safety tips:
- Never leave children, vulnerable adults, or pets in a parked car. The temperature in a parked car can rise to 135 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes. If you see a child, vulnerable adult, or pet left unattended in a parked vehicle on a hot day, call 911 immediately. If the person or pet is in imminent danger of suffering harm, use necessary force to remove the person or pet from the vehicle.
- Limit time outside. Avoid being outdoors during the midday heat and spend more time in air conditioning when possible.
- Utilize public spaces. Take advantage of public spaces with air conditioning, such as a local library, to help stay cool.
- Dress for summer. Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight and helps maintain a normal body temperature.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Don’t get too much sun. Apply sunscreen if you are going to be in the sun for extended periods of time. Having a sunburn makes heat dissipation more difficult.
For more heat safety tips, visit FloridaDisaster.org/Hazards/Heat-Wave.
Published August 02, 2023