Cisco the Harwich Spirits Shoppe cat here… It’s 95 freaking degrees out, and I’m wearing a stinking fur coat! Well, who better to talk about the heat wave?
Look, all kidding aside, it’s dangerously hot outside. The following is from pg. 19 of the “Cape Cod Emergency Preparedness Handbook”…
TERMS TO KNOW
Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat and humidity. The National Weather Service steps up its procedures to alert the public during these periods of excessive heat and humidity.
Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it really feels when relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15º F.
Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
Heat Exhaustion: 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 may suffer heat stroke.
Heat Stroke (a.k.a. Sun stroke): This 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.
PREPARE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
If a heat wave is predicted or happening:
- Slow Down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 am and 7:00 am.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Try to go to a public building with air conditioning each day for several hours. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy.
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Your body needs water to keep cool.
- Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty
- Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat’s effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which dehydrates the body.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.
- Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
SIGNALS OF HEAT EMERGENCIES
Heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
Heat/Sun stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body
temperature can be very high – as high as 105ºF. If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will feel dry.
TREATMENT OF HEAT EMERGENCIES
Heat cramps: Get the person to a cooler place and have him/her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can make conditions worse.
Heat exhaustion: Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes, such as towels or sheets. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Let the victim rest in a comfortable position, and watch carefully for changes his/her
condition. Consider the need for further medical attention.
Heat/Sun stroke: This is a life threatening situation. Help is needed fast. Call 911. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink. (This material was reprinted directly from American Red
Cross Publication #5032, Heat Wave)
Maybe this is just the beginning…
Seriously… Don’t mess with the heat… We highly recommend that you download, print, read, and keep a copy of the “Cape Cod Emergency Preparedness Handbook“… IMHO this is one of the finest books of its kind regardless of where you live, and it’s free to boot!
See you by those cool wine racks,
Two cats blogging
* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.