FEMA ADVISES RESIDENTS TO TAKE IT EASY UNDER EXTREME HEAT (fwd)
Amick Robert (amick@spot.Colorado.EDU)
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 10:13:09 -0600 (MDT)
Just thought this might be useful information for members of the lists.
Bob Amick, EMT-B, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72,
Boulder, CO; Jamboree Subcamp 9 Medical Staff
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 17:27:51 -0400 (EDT)
From: Emergency Information Media Affairs <email@example.com>
Subject: FEMA ADVISES RESIDENTS TO TAKE IT EASY UNDER EXTREME HEAT
This is a message to the FEMA NEWS list subscribers.
Media Contact: Release No.: 97-174
Vallee Bunting Release Date: June 26,1997
FEMA ADVISES RESIDENTS TO TAKE IT EASY UNDER EXTREME HEAT
WASHINGTON -- With this summer's first heat wave still gripping parts of
the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joined
local emergency managers in urging people to take special protective
measures to reduce the dangers posed by prolonged periods of extreme heat.
"Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying
too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses and
possibly death," FEMA Director James Lee Witt said. "Special care should
be taken to protect the elderly, young children and those with respiratory
ailments. All residents should be aware of heat disorder symptoms, know
where to seek help, and be ready to give first aid treatment."
To help reduce extreme heat risks, FEMA offered the following safety tips:
* Hang shades, draperies, awnings, or louvers on windows that receive
morning or afternoon sun. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat
entering the house by as much as 80 percent.
* Conserve electricity. During periods of extreme heat, people tend to
use a lot more power for air conditioning which can lead to a power
shortage or outage. Stay indoors as much as possible. If air
conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the
* Eat well-balanced, light meals and drink plenty of water regularly.
* Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on
fluid- restrictive diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should
consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
* Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. Although beer and alcohol
beverages appear to satisfy thirst, they actually cause further body
* Dress in loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that reflects heat and sunlight
and helps maintain normal body temperature.
* Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
* Allow your body to get acclimated to hot temperatures for the first 2 or
3 days of a heat wave.
* Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool
itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor)
* Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after
coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly
for elderly and very young people.
* Slow down. Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities.
High-risk individuals should stay in cool places. Get plenty of rest to
allow your natural "cooling system" to work. Take salt tablets only if
specified by your physician.
* Vacuum or replace (as appropriate) air conditioner filters weekly during
periods of high use.
AILMENTS CAUSED BY SEVERE EXPOSURE TO THE SUN OR HEAT INCLUDE:
Symptoms: Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever,
First Aid: Take a shower, using soap, to remove oils that may block pores
preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters occur, apply dry,
sterile dressings and get medical attention.
* Heat Cramps
Symptoms: Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. Heavy
First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve
spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.
* Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness. Cold, pale or clammy skin. Weak pulse.
Normal temperature possible. Fainting, vomiting.
First Aid: Lie victim down in a cool place and loosen clothing. Apply
cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips
of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek
immediate medical attention.
* Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke)
Symptoms: High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong
pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.
First Aid: Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Use extreme caution.
Call 9-1-1 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be
fatal. Remove clothing and move victim to a cooler environment. Use fans
and/or air conditioners. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body
temperature. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.
For more information on extreme heat safeguards, contact your local
emergency management office or their local chapter of the American Red
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Office of Emergency Information & Media Affairs --- Washington, D.C.
Information Available 24 hours a day . . .
... on the World Wide Web: http://www.fema.gov
... via fax-on-demand: phone in the U.S.A. (202) 646-FEMA (646-3362)
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