Annapolis, MD (6-12-17) – The National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures to reach the mid-90s today and near 100 degrees tomorrow. The heat combined with high levels of humidity is creating a concern that residents may suffer from heat-related illnesses.
Because of that, the city will open the Roger “Pip” Moyer Community Recreation Center, located at 273 Hilltop Lane, as a cooling center today and tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Individuals visiting the recreation center during those hours for the purpose of cooling off will not have access to recreation activities. For more information, call the City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) at 410-216-9167.
Mayor Michael Pantelides advises residents to check on family members and neighbors who don’t have air-conditioning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, elderly people (65 years and older), infants, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress and air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death.
According to OEM, Anne Arundel County is opening the following buildings and facilities as cooling centers today:
Annapolis Senior Activity Center (119 South Villa Ave.) - 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Annapolis Regional Library (1410 West Street) - 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Broadneck Community Library (1275 Green Holly Dr) - 10:00 a.m. until 6:00p.m.
Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library (269 Hillsmere Dr) - 10:00 a.m. until 6:00p.m.
All facilities opened by Anne Arundel County are accessible, air-conditioned, and have water and restroom facilities.
Fire Chief David L. Stokes Sr. warns of the problems that come with the extreme heat, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. He said that crews usually experience an increase in medical calls during extended periods of hot weather.
“Heat-related illnesses are preventable,” Chief Stokes said. “The important thing is to stay well hydrated. The best fluid to drink when you are sweating is water. It’s also important to be sensible about how much you exert yourself in hot weather. The hotter and more humid it is, the harder the body has to fight to cool itself.”
The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Symptoms of heat-related illness:
Heat cramps are muscle contractions that are connected to heat and dehydration.
Heat exhaustion is also a result of excessive heat and dehydration. The signs of heat exhaustion are paleness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, fainting and increased temperature.
Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat illness. These people have warm, flushed skin and do not sweat. This is considered a critical medical emergency. These patients must have their temperature reduced quickly and taken directly to the hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control offer guidance on extreme heat:
Spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.
Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates
Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Please also be advised:
If working outside, stay hydrated and take multiple breaks in the shade as often as possible.
If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar. These actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic, fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.