Albany County Sheriff warning folks about dangers of heat wave

AP PHOTO

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Sheriff Craig Apple is urging everyone to be prepared for the dangerously hot and humid weather that will be affecting Albany County from Thursday through Saturday.

“We are advising our residents to take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure their safety,” Sheriff Apple said.  

Albany County Deputy Emergency Manager and Meteorologist Howard Altschule says to expect a heat wave with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees each day. In addition, temperatures near 90 and high humidity will make it ‘feel like’ 100 degrees in some locations. Because of these extreme conditions, there are some important things to be aware of.

Terms to Know

  • Heat Wave: Three (3) consecutive days where the high temperature reaches or exceeds 90 degrees.
  • Heat Index: The temperature it ‘feels like’ when relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Prolonged exposure or activity in these conditions without the proper precautions can lead to health problems.
  • Heat Advisory: A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days. Take precautions to avoid heat illness.
  • Excessive Heat Warning: An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions.  This Warning is issued when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days.  If you don’t take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill.

Things To Know

Work outdoors should be limited as much as possible. Heat exhaustion can occur in a short period of time in extreme heat. You can prepare by staying well hydrated and nourished during this activity.

  • Do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles for ANY period of timeParked automobiles can reach extremely high temperatures in just a few minutes.
  • Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion. It typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
  • Recognize that heat stroke is life threatening. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
  • Try to stay in an air conditioned environment as much as possible. If your home is not air conditioned, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities. Lower floors in the home may be cooler, stay out of the sunshine. Moving air from fans can help cool the skin.
  • Stay well hydrated. If possible you should drink 6-8 ounces of water every couple of hours even if you’re not thirsty. If you prefer sports drinks try to alternate between them and water. Signs of dehydration include but are not limited to; strong odor and dark colored urine, fatigue, nausea, tachycardia, headache, increased thirst, and in some cases vomiting.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Most of us like our morning coffee or two but caffeine is a strong diuretic which can accelerate dehydration.
  • Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and water, and will assist in keeping you hydrated and nourished.
  • Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
  • Make a special effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children, have special needs, or do not have air conditioning.

Monitor those at high risk

Infants and children up to four years of age are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures. They rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids. People who are 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently, and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature. People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.

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