PROVIDENCE, RI — The National Weather Service issued an RI heat advisory through Thursday with an expected heat index of 100.
According to the NWS, the heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with actual air temperature. The RI Heat Advisory that temperatures and humidity can cause disease applies to much of Rhode Island, northern Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Prevention of heat illnesses
With extreme temperatures expected over the next two days, the NWS offered advice to the public on avoiding heat illness during the RI Heat Advisory:
Tips: Beat the heat
To limit your risk of becoming a victim of the heat, the NWS and the RI Department of Health recommend:
- If possible, postpone strenuous activities until the early morning or evening. Drink more fluids than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol or liquids that contain a lot of sugar.
- Check on friends and neighbors, especially older adults and those caring for young children.
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings if possible. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, check out the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) list of community cooling centers in Rhode Island.
- Wear light, light-colored clothing. Add a hat if you must be outside.
- Limit outdoor activities, especially around lunchtime. If you exercise outdoors, schedule your workout for a morning or evening.
- If you work outdoors, put on sunscreen, adjust your activity, stay hydrated, and check on co-workers.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool off, especially if you can’t stay in an air-conditioned place.
- Avoid turning on your oven if possible. It will make your house hotter.
- Never leave small children or pets in parked cars, even with the windows down.
- If you have special medical needs, you should register with the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry (RISNER). By registering with RISNER, police, firefighters and other first responders in your community can better prepare for and respond to your needs during an emergency. When enrolling in the registry, an individual provides information about their health needs (e.g., information about mobility issues, information about a visual or hearing impairment, information about use of a life support system, e.g., a ventilator). For more information or to register, visit health.ri.gov/emregistry or call 211/RI Relay 711.
- If possible, postpone strenuous activities until the early morning or evening.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
- When working outdoors, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.
- Those overwhelmed by heat should be taken to a cool and shady place. Heatstroke is an emergency, call 911.
Know the signs: heat exhaustion and heat stroke
heat exhaustion Symptoms include profuse sweating; weakness; cold, pale, or clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting.
During the RI heat recommendation, move to a cooler place, lie down, loosen clothing, drink water, and apply cool, damp cloths to cool the body. See a doctor if vomiting begins or if symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour.
heatstroke Symptoms include a high body temperature (above 103 degrees F) combined with hot, red, dry, or clammy skin; fast and strong pulse; Confusion; and unconsciousness.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. 911 should be called immediately. Those with heat stroke symptoms should also be moved to a cooler environment. Apply cool towels or place the person in a cool bath to lower body temperature. Fans and ice packs can also be used to cool someone down. Ice packs should be placed on the neck, under the armpit, or in the groin (because these are the areas where major arteries are closest to the skin’s surface).
Working in the heat? Here is an app for that.
When you work in the heat, safety is a lifesaver. Free OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool available for Android and Iphone provides safety information available on your mobile phone.
The app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their workplace and shows based on the heat index a risk level to field workers. Then you can be reminded with a simple “click”. protective measures that should be taken at this level of risk to protect workers from heat-related illnesses – reminders to drink enough fluids, schedule rest breaks, plan and know what to do in an emergency, adjust work routine, do it gradually Building workload for new workers, training on signs and symptoms of heat illness, and monitoring one another for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.