Hot weather can be dangerous and even deadly. Precautions must be taken to ensure health and safety during our summer months. A person suffering from the heat may not realize it. Be aware of the warning signs of heat-related illness, which include:

  • Heat cramps: Painful muscle contractions, usually in the hamstring muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion: Dizziness, fatigue, headache, rapid/weak pulse, pale or clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke: Hot/dry/flushed skin, high body temperature, rapid heartbeat and confusion.

Prevention Tips

  • Drink plenty of water. Carry a bottle with you when you are away from home.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and hats with wide brims and carry an umbrella.
  • Check with your doctor. Heat may affect your reaction to certain medications.
  • Keep electric lights low or off, shades drawn, and blinds closed and limit oven use.
  • Stay in well-ventilated areas. Circulation of air helps you keep cool.
  • Open a window or turn on a fan or air conditioner.
  • Have a friend check up on you at different times of the day when it is very hot.
  • Eat light meals and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Plan ahead so your outside activities are during the coolest part of the day.
  • Avoid unnecessary activity and being in direct sunlight or a hot environment.
  • Take your time. Do not run around in a hurry.
  • Never wait in a car or leave people or pets in a car.
  • Remember, excessive heat exposure can result in illness or death!

For Pets

Pets are vulnerable to high temperatures too but are unable to vocalize their distress. Some signs of heat distress in pets can include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive thirst and vomiting. Help prevent a heat emergency by taking these steps.

  • Leave pets extra water.
  • Bring pets inside during periods of extreme heat.
  • Ensure pets have plenty of shade if kept outside. Remember, the shade pets have in the morning will either change or diminish as the sun moves throughout the day and may not protect them.
  • Don’t force animals to exercise when it is hot and humid. Exercise pets early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Do not let pets stand on sidewalks or hot asphalt to avoid burning their paws.
  • Never leave pets in a parked vehicle. Even in the shade with windows cracked, temperatures can reach over 120 degrees inside. The vehicle is quickly turned into a furnace and can kill any animal.

To find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or by visiting

Additional County Update News – June 30, 2023

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