MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is concerned about this weekend’s weather forecast. In particular high heat and humidity will make conditions dangerous. The National Weather Service has stated, “HEAT INDICES AROUND 105 DEGREES ARE LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOONS OF SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY...ESPECIALLY EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS.”
We are highly recommending that if you don’t absolutely have to be outdoors to stay indoors in an air conditioned environment. Check on elderly relatives and neighbors on a regular basis to make sure thy are staying cool. If you find yourself or others where air conditioning is not available consider visiting a cooling center, a shopping mall, a movie theatre or any place of public assembly that has air conditioning.
With high heat and humidity upon us in Prince George’s County the men and women of your Fire/EMS Department want you to stay informed and take precautions to stay safe and healthy. Temperatures nearing or above 100, combined with high humidity will create a dangerous situation for children, the elderly, and those who suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions. Dangers also are extended to anyone that are outdoors for extended periods of time and those involved in physical or strenuous activity.
Your best protection is to stay well hydrated. Sweat, or water, allows heat to evaporate from your skin’s surface. If you become dehydrated, it is more difficult for your body to maintain an acceptable temperature. The best thing to drink is water. Gatorade or other sports drinks are also good. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Limit heavy exertion when high levels of heat and humidity are present. High humidity levels make it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.
HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:
Any heat related illnesses will require a victim to be removed from the hot environment to an air-conditioned or cool/shaded area. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.
Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include “dry” red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Your body has lost the ability to sweat and naturally “cool-off” – this is a true medical emergency. Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath, bags of ice or wet towels. Place ice bags in each armpit, groin and back of the neck. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.
Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe
Monitor weather forecast throughout weekend on TV, radio and Internet.
Stay Ready with your emergency kit - www.ready.gov
Stay Safe and Stay Indoors
• Avoid the heat
• Reduce activity
• Drink plenty of water
• Wear light colored clothing
• Drink plenty of water
• Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade
• Check on relatives and friends, especially the elderly
• Increase time spent in an air-conditioned environment
• Eat smaller meals, more often
• Take cool baths
• Make sure pets have access to water and shade