Weather Alert: Dangerously Hot Temperatures Heading Our Way
Would you know what to do for heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
Temperatures at or above 100 degrees are coming Elmhurst's way.
The National Weather Service-Chicago is predicting temperatures in the low to mid-90s Wednesday, and from 100 to the 105-degree range Thursday. Afternoon highs in the 90s are expected to continue through the weekend.
There are some chances of thunderstorms, but the likelihood is that the continued dry summer conditions will continue. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows our area as "abnormally dry." The far south tip of Illinois is facing "extreme drought" conditions.
Cooling centers are available for the elderly, families with small children and other vulnerable residents as follows:
Elmhurst Police Department Lobby, 125 E. First St., open 24 hours
Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave., open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
According to the Red Cross, in recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. The city of Elmhurst, in cooperation with the Red Cross, recommends that the public take the following precautions during periods of extreme heat.
- Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
- The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, which can increase the heat index by as much as 15 degrees.
- Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
- Check the contents of your emergency preparedness kit in case a power outage occurs.
- Check on family or neighbors who are elderly, young, sick or overweight, or who may not have air conditioning.
- If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
- Learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
- Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light- colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion. Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen clothing and apply wet cloths or towels. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number.
Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.
For more information on disaster and emergency preparedness, visit www.RedCross.org.