A heat wave in the coming days is expected to send temperatures into the upper 90s in Albany. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming approximately 400 lives per year across the nation. It’s important not to underestimate the effects of heat, and to prepare now to reduce your risk of heat-related illness.
Here are 10 tips from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s (GEMA) Ready Georgia campaign to help beat the heat in the coming days:
1. Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun.
2. Make sure your home is well-insulated, and cover windows with shades or drapes. Consider installing weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the cool air inside. This also helps keep your energy costs down.
3. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
4. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Protect your face and head with wide-brimmed hats.
5. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
6. Familiarize yourself with the medical conditions that can result from over-exposure to heat, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke to help lessen health threats and harm.
7. Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
8. 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.
9. Conserve water in your household to help prevent drought: wash only full loads of dishes and laundry, fix household leaks, and consider installing low-flow toilets and showerheads.
10. Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.
Georgians can find this information and more at www.ready.ga.gov. The website offers an interactive preparedness tool to create custom checklists of emergency supplies and tailored family plans. For preparedness on the go, you can also download Ready Georgia’s newly improved mobile app.