The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Emergency Management Department would like to share some heat preparedness info and tips during these hot summer days. Heat is the number one weather-related killer. Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.
Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Asphalt and concrete also store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the "urban heat island effect."
A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions.
Extreme Heat Preparedness Checklist
Build a disaster supply kit and make a family emergency plan
If installing window air conditioners, install them snugly and insulate if necessary
Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation
Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside
Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in
Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers — outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%
Keep storm windows up all year
Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes
Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young or in poor health — they are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help
Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas
Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies
Stay Safe During the Heat
The Red Cross recommends taking these steps to stay safe during the heat:
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service
Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles
Eat small meals and eat more often
Avoid extreme temperature changes
Limit intake of alcoholic beverages
Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid drinks with caffeine
Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day
Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat
Take frequent breaks if working outdoors
Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat
Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat, and ensure they have water and a shady place to rest