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How to beat the heat

Tips range from personal safety to energy-saving measures

Post Date:07/20/2018 4:00 pm

Sun - excess heat-1 

As temperatures remain in the 100s over the next several days, the City of Cedar Park Office of Emergency Management is sharing tips on how to beat the heat.

Cedar Park Emergency Management Coordinator John Cummins says, “Heat-related deaths are preventable and we must not only look out for ourselves but for one another during this extreme heat.”    

Personal safety
Cummins says that you can stay safe in the heat by
• Limiting your outdoor activities
• Drinking plenty of water
• Wearing light clothing and sunscreen
• Working outdoors early or very late in the day
• Staying in the shade or indoors if possible
• Checking on the elderly, sick and those without air conditioning
• And never leaving kids or pets unattended in vehicles – Remember: look before you lock.

Additionally, Cummins says it’s important to know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  “Heat exhaustion can be deadly.  A throbbing headache, high body temperature and no sweating are just a few signs that you should call 9-1-1.”   

Heat stroke symptoms 
• Throbbing headache
• No sweating
• Body temperature above 103 degrees
• Red, hot, dry skin
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid, strong pulse
• May lose consciousness.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the above symptoms call 9-1-1 and take immediate action to cool yourself or the person until help arrives.    

Heat exhaustion symptoms
• Faint or dizzy
• Excessive sweating
• Cool, pale, clammy skin
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid, weak pulse
• And muscle cramps

For heat exhaustion, get to a cooler, air conditioned place, drink water if fully conscious and take a cool shower or use cold compresses to cool down.

Electricity consumption 
Besides personal safety in the heat, Cummins says that many will want to take steps to reduce their electricity consumption over the next several days, especially during the mid to late afternoon.  

“Peak energy use is expected over the next several days, especially during the hottest temperature hours from 2 to 6 p.m.,” Cummins says.  

The City recommends that you keep your home cool and comfortable yet use less energy and save money by doing the following: 
• Pre-cool your home
• Avoid using appliances
• Close window blinds
• Use ceiling fans

Cummins says that if you are not able to be comfortable inside of your home during the afternoon you might consider visiting a public place with air conditioning or water.

“I fully expect our public swimming pools, library and recreation center to be busy, as well as our local retailers, restaurants and movie theaters, to be full this weekend,” Cummins adds.  

For more safety information visit www.cedarparktexas.gov and www.cedarparkprepares.com.