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Houston Implements Heat Emergency Plan In Response To Hot Weather

The broiling temperatures prompted city leaders to open cooling centers.

Officials with the City of Houston implemented the city’s heat emergency plan Wednesday as temperatures reach into the 90s, and a heat index in the 100s.

Those who do not have access to air conditioning are strongly advised to visit one of the city’s 47 designated cooling centers. A map of the locations is above and a list of the cooling centers can be seen by clicking on this link .

worker wipes brow while working in summer heat
A Houston construction workers try to stay cool.

The excessive heat advisory for Greater Houston continues through this evening, but it is expected to continue the next few days. 

Besides seeking a cool place to beat the heat, the Houston Health Department (HHD) offers some other tips to avoid falling ill from the high temperatures:

HHD recommends people take precautions against high heat and humidity to prevent illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.
  • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment need to start slowly and gradually increase heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Check on the elderly. Take the initiative to visit seniors to look for signs of heat-related illnesses. It takes the elderly nearly twice the time of younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the frail elderly is not sufficient to determine the condition of the senior or the home.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.
  • Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle.
  • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
  • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
  • Electric fans should only be used in conjunction with an air conditioner. A fan can’t change the temperature of a room; it can only accelerate air movement, and will accelerate the body’s overheating.

Stay alert to heat advisories. The National Weather Service declares a Heat Emergency when the heat index, a computation of the air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.

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