Operation Weather Survival and United Way 2-1-1 Missouri/Southwest Illinois is reminding people how to take care during hot weather advisories, warning, and emergencies.
OWS is a coalition of local government, for-profit and nonprofit organizations that coordinates resources and educate the public to prevent illness and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather.
Below are tips, compiled by Operation Weather Survival to help keep people safe and cool during hot weather emergencies.
Stay cool! Stay out of the direct sun and heat. Spend as many hours as possible in a cool place. Minimize physical activity, and take cool baths or showers. Use cool towels, and wear lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing. Use air-conditioning if available.
Keep cool by closing curtains and windows in the morning to keep the sun and heat out of your home. Open windows and doors at night to cool inside temperatures. Keep electric lights off or dim. If people don’t have air-conditioning, leave the home and go to a cool, safe place. Some options may include: shopping malls, senior center, etc. For more information on how to locate a cooling center, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.211helps.org.
Hydration is key due to increased perspiration in high temperature. Drink plenty of water and natural juices, at least six to eight glasses every day. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine as they cause dehydration.
Know your neighbors. Develop a personal support network of people who will check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods, and plan how you will help each other in an emergency. Watch for signs of heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion.
Help to monitor seniors or people with functional needs. The City of St. Louis may also sign up for their Functional Needs Registry by calling (314) 612-5918.
It’s important to plan ahead in case of power outages so ask your doctor about any prescription medicine you keep refrigerated (most medicine will be fine to leave in a closed refrigerator for at least 3 hours). Make plans for any animals and pets. In the event of a power loss, keep a battery-operated radio on hand to hear news reports and a flashlight handy for lighting. Remember extra batteries. Do not use candles due to fire hazards. Cordless phones may not operate during power outages so keep a corded phone handy or plugged into another jack.
Call 911 if anyone needs medical attention due to heat illness.
Warning signs of heat illness include heavy sweating, cramps, headache, nausea, or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, and fainting.
For information on what to do during a hot-weather emergency, dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626. For senior citizens or people with disabilities worried about not being able to pay for air-conditioning related energy costs, bill payment assistance information and referrals are available by calling 2-1-1 or 800-427-4626. All calls are free and confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year.