North Texas is expecting record-breaking heat this week and if precautions aren’t taken, the weather pattern could be a deadly one.
In terms of weather-related deaths, heat is the No. 1 killer.
Temperatures are expected to soar past the 100-degree mark all week, reaching 104 on Thursday and 105 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
As of Monday, Somervell County had 12 ambulance calls on heat-related incidents, including 10 calls to 911.
While drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is crucial, Bobby Epps, a captain with the SCFD, pointed out one false notion some people may have.
“It’s a misperception that staying hydrated will prevent heat-related illnesses,” Epps said. “High humidity does not allow the body to cool itself off via evaporation as it normally would. It’s a special danger to children and the elderly.”
The key, in addition to hydration, is to no over-do anything done in the heat.
“Limit the exposure to heat, and especially direct sunlight,” Epps said. “You don’t get the cooling effect (in direct sunlight). It’s all about internal body temperature.”
When it is necessary to remain in hot situations, such as those who have outdoor jobs, Epps said that it’s recommended to use some type of sports drink that can replenish electrolytes and vitamins back into the body. He said that a good rule of thumb is to drink two bottles of water to every one bottle of a sports drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade.
• Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol
• Wear light weight and light colored clothing
• Never keep your child or pet inside a hot vehicle
• Check on others, especially the elderly, sick, very young and those without air-conditioning
• Use sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher before going outside
• Keep cellphones handy in case of emergency.