While many Texans may feel more tolerant of our hot local summers than most Americans the human body can only take so much. Once those temperatures start to hit 95 Degrees and above it's time to dial back those outdoors activities, limit alcohol intake and seek some relief indoors. Mesquite Emergency Management is here to help you "weather" our local summers!
Basic Extreme Heat Safety
Here are some basic tips which will help you and your family #BeatTheHeat;
- Avoid strenuous activities outdoors on hot days from 11:00 AM through the evening hours.
- If you must be outside seek to be in the shade as much as possible, wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Drink LOTS of water, 1 cup (8 ounces) every 15-20 minutes! Avoid sugar filled drinks and absolutely avoid drinking alcohol.
- Check in on friends, family and neighbors who may be more susceptible to being adversely affected by the heat such as senior citizens and adults who have special needs.
- Know and look for the signs and symptoms of Heat Related Illness such as Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Heat Related Illness - Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke
- heavy sweating
- a weak and fast pulse
- muscle cramps
Caught in time symptoms can be alleviated by moving to a cool, dry place, loosening clothing, applying cool, wet rags and sipping cool water. Call 911 if the symptoms do not begin to subside or begin to worsen.
Ignoring the signs of Heat Exhaustion can lead to Heat Stroke, the symptoms of which are;
- a body temperature of 103
- a strong and fast pulse
- hot and dry skin
- lack of sweating despite the heat
- loss of consciousness
Heat Stroke is a serious and very dangerous medical condition. If you or anyone around you begins to exhibit the symptoms of Heat Stroke call 911 immediately. Move the afflicted person to a cool dry place and attempt to lower their body temperature with cool, wet towels or by placing them in a bath of cool water. DO NOT give them anything to drink.
For more information on Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion and other Heat Related Illnesses please visit Ready.gov/Heat
Cars and Extreme Heat
Cars can be a convenience. Cars can be fun. Cars can be our pride and joy. But when extreme heat arrives cars can be absolutely deadly. It is important that we pay careful attention when we park our cars that they are empty and locked when extreme heat strikes our region.
Dogs and Extreme Heat
Dogs are particularly susceptible to adverse health effects of extreme heat due to their size, inability to expel body heat through sweat, heavy coats and the tendency of careless owners to restrain them outside with no water or shelter. Here are some safety tips to keep your four legged family members safe during periods of extreme heat;
- Much like the humans they love, dogs should avoid exercise outside during the hottest parts of the day from 11:00 AM through the evening hours. Play those games indoors!
- Avoid long walks during the hottest parts of the day and opt for more frequent shorter walks while attempting to stay in the shade as much as possible.
- Watch those paws! Always remember that dogs are walking around on the bare skin of their paw pads. At 87 Degrees the asphalt street will be a sizzling 143 Degrees. At 60 seconds on asphalt of 125 degrees your dog will suffer painful burns on its paw pads. A tip to remember - If you cannot comfortably hold your hand to the ground for 5 seconds than it is too hot for your dogs paws!
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors
- Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
- Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals
- State of Texas "Unlawful Restraint of a Dog Bill" - As of January 18, 2022 it is illegal in the State of Texas to restrain a dog outside in any extreme weather without access to shelter and fresh water. If you see a dog in distress and restrained outdoors in the extreme heat please contact your local animal control services or call 911. To learn more please visit Texas Statutes - Sec 821.102
For more information on keeping your pets safe during extreme heat you may visit www.redcross.org
As always Mesquite Emergency Management strives to give you #RealTexasService so that you can be #RealTexasReady !