Beat the Heat with Tips from Gordon County EMA and Ready Georgia
Summer in Georgia is a time for camping trips, cookouts and afternoons by the pool. However, it’s also a time to be aware of the dangers soaring temperatures can bring. Extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming more than 650 lives across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it’s best to take steps now to stay safe.
“People most at risk for heat-related illness are seniors, infants and people with circulation problems, but staying indoors and drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and hydrated when temperatures rise,” says Gordon County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Richard Cooper.
To help Georgians prepare, Ready Georgia, a statewide emergency preparedness campaign created by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Visitors to Ready Georgia’s website can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. In addition, Ready Georgia’s free mobile app provides alerts and preparedness information for people on the go.
Gordon County and Ready Georgia also give these 10 tips to ensure a safe summer for every family:
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Fluids are lost through perspiration, so it’s important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty.
- Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Drink two to four cups of water every hour when you are working outside.
- Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning.
- Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
- Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, fatigue, muscle cramps, confusion, cold, pale and clammy skin, a weak rapid pulse, and possible fainting and vomiting. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature reaches 106° F. or higher. Symptoms include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Summon immediate emergency medical assistance.
- Insulate your home by installing weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the cool air inside.
- Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA Weather Radio or download the Ready Georgia app for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.
For more information, contact Gordon County EMA at 706-602-2905 or visit http://www.ready.ga.gov.