Extreme Heat to Return, Cooling Center to Open

 

Forecasters are anticipating another round of extreme heat to begin this week. Due to this, the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency has been following its heat response plan which includes checking on members of the population that are at risk, distributing educational information about staying cool to the public and working with community partners to monitor conditions and assist those in need.

In the City of Shasta Lake, due to a lack of public air conditioned places, a Cooling Center at the John Beaudet Community Center at 1525 Median Avenue is scheduled to be open Tuesday and Wednesday, July 24 and 25, from noon to 8 pm. Cooling centers differ from public air-conditioned places such as malls or libraries in that they are sites dedicated only to provide respite from extreme heat during specific times of day. Those who do not have access to air conditioning at home are encouraged to make plans to find relief at one of the public air-conditioned places that are available (a list of public air conditioned places can be found here.)

Prolonged exposure to excessive heat can lead to heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Symptoms can include: altered mental state; red, hot and dry skin; rapid pulse; throbbing headache, confusion or unconsciousness. Without immediate treatment and cooling, people with heat stroke can die. Heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, weakness, nausea and can turn into heat stroke if the person is not cooled down soon. Excessive heat may also cause fainting or heat cramps.

Some health conditions such as obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn, certain medications and drug and alcohol use can increase risk for heat-related illness and death. Excessive heat can also increase the risk of heart attacks and related conditions. During this stretch of extreme heat, be sure to:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid dehydrating beverages like
    • Caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, energy drinks and sodas)Alcohol
    • Sugary drinks
  • Stay cool indoors
    • Stay in an air-conditioned area, if possible
    • A cool shower or bath is also a good way to cool off
    • Swamp coolers and fans may not sufficiently prevent heat illness during extreme heat
  • Wear light clothing and sunscreen
    • Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
    • A wide-brimmed hat will keep your head cool
    • Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and reapply every two hours while in the sun (all skin types)
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
    • Try to be less active during midday and late afternoon, the hottest part of the day
    • Rest often in a shady area
    • Never leave kids or pets in a parked car
  • Pace yourself
    • Take frequent, regularly scheduled breaks in a cool or shaded place
    • If your heart pounds, you become out of breath, lightheaded, weak or feel faint, stop your activity, drink water or juice, and rest in a cool or shady area
    • If you or someone you know is experiencing throbbing headache, hot dry skin, or confusion with the heat, seek immediate medical attention. Also, move to a cool area, hydrate, and rest until get to medical attention
  • Use a buddy system
    • Check on your friends and family and have someone do the same for you
    • Check on the elderly and people with health conditions twice a day during a heat wave

Please do your part to stay safe and watch out for family members and vulnerable populations. For more information on heat-related safety go to www.shastahhsa.net and click “Stay Safe in the Heat” at the top of the page.

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