FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Monday, June 13, 2022
CONTACT: Meghan Barwick, Public Information Officer and/or Kristin Patten, South Health District Public Information Officer
Telephone: 229 671-2491 or 229-415-0001
Beat the Heat with Tips from Lowndes County Emergency Management and South Health District
Lowndes County, Georgia: Dangerous heat is expected to impact our region this week. A prolonged period of unseasonably hot and humid weather is in store for our region beginning Tuesday, and heat indices are expected to increase each afternoon through the week. Now is time to be aware of the dangers soaring temperatures can bring. Extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming more than 650 lives across the nation each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) urges Lowndes County residents to take steps now to beat the heat.
“People most at risk for heat-related illness are seniors, infants, and people with circulation problems, but staying indoors and drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and hydrated when temperatures rise,” says Lowndes County Emergency Management Director Ashley Tye.
The Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District wants to encourage residents to take the proper precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.
There are two types of heat-related illnesses: heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
- Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. Body temperatures may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. The warning signs of a heat stroke are an extremely high temperature, red, hot, and dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.
- Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and not consuming enough fluids. It is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. The warning signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
“High humidity alongside high temperatures affect the body’s ability to cool itself down,” said Dr. William R. Grow, District Health Director. “Our bodies rely on sweat evaporating quickly to cool us down, and that process slows in high humidity. That is why it is important to take steps to protect yourself.”
Lowndes County, South Health District, and Ready Georgia give these 10 tips to ensure a safe summer for every family:
1. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
2. Fluids are lost through perspiration, so it’s important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty.
3. Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
4. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
5. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Drink two to four cups of water every hour when you are working outside.
6. Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning.
7. Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
8. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
9. Insulate your home by installing weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the cool air inside.
10. Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station, or NOAA Weather Radio, or download the Ready Georgia app for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.
To help Georgians prepare, Ready Georgia, a statewide emergency preparedness campaign created by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Visitors to Ready Georgia’s website can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits.
For more information, contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer, Meghan Barwick, at 229-671-2491 or South Health District Public Information Officer Kristin Patten at 229-415-0001 or visit www.ready.ga.gov.