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Emergency Medical Officials Urging Residents To Take Heat Precautions

With the high heat forecast over the better part of this week, WHAG Meteorologist Bryan Tolle talked to Emergency Rescue Officials about how folks should prepare and precautions to take during high heat like we will be having.
SMITHSBURG, MD (WHAG) - Hopefully you're air conditioning is in full working order, we're going to be feeling a heat wave this week with temperatures soaring into the triple digits.

The WHAG Weather Department is tracking how high the temperatures are going to get, and Meteorologist Bryan Schuerman spoke with emergency rescue officials about what you can do when the mercury rises this high.

We've seen some 90 degree days already this summer, but now we're looking at another heat wave hitting the area with the hottest temperatures we've seen this summer.

The warm weather is thanks to an area of high pressure that is moving back over the Eastern United States from the Atlantic Ocean, and is funneling up a lot of warm, humid air and it looks like this area of high pressure will control our forecast for the better portion of this week.

Temperatures on Monday across the area were in the 90 degree or better range, but once you factor in the humidity we're looking at heat index values in the upper 90's to low and mid 100's especially for the middle to latter portions of the week.

Emergency rescue officials say when the temperatures soar like they are forecast to, they do get calls for preventable heat related illnesses.

James Ullrich with the Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services branch in Washington County says, "typically, heat cramps we don't normally see, that's the lower end of the heat related emergencies. We do get a few calls here and there for heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat stroke being the most severe. People just need to make sure they're staying hydrated, being aware of what they're body is telling them, how they feel if you start feeling nauseated, especially if you have a lack of sweating, they body's cooling mechanisms are now compromised, and that person needs to be cooled immediately."

We also can't forget about our four legged friends during this extreme heat, making sure our pets get plenty of water and shade along with air conditioning when temperatures get this hot.  Here are some heat safety tips for you and your family when the mercury rises this high.

  • Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. 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 physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.
  • During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
  • Don't get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Be sure to stay alert with the latest weather forecast in this extreme heat, and follow Meteorologist Bryan Schuerman on Facebook and Twitter.

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