Red Cross offering safety tips as prominent heat advisory is announced

By Anthony Engle on June 16 at 2:33am

The National Weather Service has officially announced a heat advisory until Monday night at 7 p.m. As heat indexes move above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a national organization wants people to know ways that they can stay safe.

To ensure that citizens are aware of potentially harmful and, in certain cases, deadly effects that increasing temperature, heat and humidity can have on the body, The American Red Cross yesterday released a number of tips for protecting yourself from hot weather. Bryce Goff is the Executive Director of the South Central Illinois chapter of the Red Cross. Goff speaks in regards to two major malfunctions in the body as a result of high heat.

“It’s important to be aware of the signs for heat exhaustion. If someone has cool, moist, pale, or flush skin… if they’re sweating heavily, maybe even nauseous, dizzy, or feeling weak or exhausted… it’s time to get them too a cooler place. Attempt to loosen any clothing. Make sure they get some cool mist on them, or wet cloths, and make sure they’re staying conscious.

“And then there’s heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. If you see someone having changes in their consciousness, feeling faint, having a high body temperature, and possibly even vomiting, you’re going to want to call 911 and get help for that person as soon as you can.”

Goff describes a number of important ideas to be considerate of as summer intensifies.

“Remember that hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. It’s also very important that you stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, though you’re going to want to stay away from drinks that have lots of caffeine or alcohol in them.”

Goff also hopes that the community will come together to support our citizens in need.

“Check on family members, friends, and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning and may spend a majority of their time alone. Help to make sure that they get respite from the heat. That can mean inviting them over or providing some cool air in their home, or taking them to a public place like a library, theater, mall or a school that does have air conditioning during the hottest part of the day. It’s important to slow down, stay indoors when you can and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. We also want to recommend a buddy system when working outside in the excessive heat. Make sure you take excessive breaks when working outdoors, and make sure you have at least one person there that you trust so either can help the other in a time of need.”

This weekend’s forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for plenty of sun with high temperatures in the middle 90s and heat indexes over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest parts of the day.