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Extremely High Temperatures Expected This Weekend in Cuyahoga County

7/17/2019


Media contact:
Devyn Giannetti: (216) 443-8393, dgiannetti@cuyahogacounty.us
Kathie Sizemore: (216) 881-4413, kathleen.sizemore@jfs.ohio.gov


County Shares Heat-Related Safety Tips for Older Adults and Residents and Cooling Center Information

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Over 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year, according to the National Center for Disease Control. Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk.

Temperatures in Cuyahoga County are expected to reach the mid- to upper-90s this weekend, with “feels like” temperatures in the triple digits, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

The Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which provides information and resources to residents about extreme weather, stresses the danger of high temperatures and the chances for developing heat disorders.

Knowing the difference between heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can save lives.

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Heat cramps are non-life threatening.

Heat exhaustion occurs when people overexert themselves in hot and humid conditions. If untreated, heat exhaustion may cause a victim to suffer a heat stroke.

Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke, damages the body’s temperature control system, which regulates perspiration. A victim experiencing heat stroke can suffer brain damage or death if they do not receive proper medical care. Residents without access to air conditioning are encouraged to utilize the cooling center closest to them. For a complete list of cooling centers, visit the Community Social Services Program webpage.

Residents can use the helpful Beat the H.E.A.T. acronym to stay cool during high temperatures.
  • Hydrate. Whether you feel thirsty or not, drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated, especially when working or exercising outside.  
  • Educate yourself. Know your local weather, temperature and heat index forecasts. Take actions to stay cool and safe with the temperature hits 85 degrees or the heat index is 90 degrees. Know the warning signs of heat illness, and how you can stay cool.  
  • Act quickly when a heat illness is suspected. Seek medical attention immediately for any of these warning signs: cramping, rapid pulse, heavy sweating, hot red skin, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting. 
  • Take it easy. Anyone working or exercising outdoors should avoid overexertion, especially between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Take hourly breaks in the shade or in air conditioning.
As temperatures rise, the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS) reminds older persons that they are at a higher risk of falling ill during the summer months.

“Older adults are prone to heat stress since their bodies do not adjust to sudden changes in temperature,” said Tracey N. Mason, DSAS Administrator. “They are more likely to have chronic medical conditions or to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature.”

There are several precautions older adults can take to be safe this summer. Now is a good time to check cooling systems to ensure they are working properly. If utilities are a concern, the County can connect residents with resources that can assist with summer energy bills, so no one is left to make the difficult decision whether to pay cooling bills or purchase food. For information on how the County can help, call 216-420-6700.

In dealing with hot weather, older adults are encouraged to:
  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible
  • If your home does not have air-conditioning, visit a mall or library
  • Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source
  • Drink more water than usual and do not wait until you are thirsty
  • If your doctor limits your fluid intake, ask how much you should drink
  • Keep your house cool by not using the stove or oven
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Cool down with showers, baths, ice packs or wet towels
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities and get plenty of rest
  • Protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals, as they can overheat your body
  • Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them
  • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your pets
  • Check the news for heat advisories or sign up for weather text alerts
  • Have a “Beat the Heat Buddy” and check in twice a day
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours
  • Do not leave children or pets in a hot car for any length of time
  • Take precautions if you have heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Seek care for heat-related symptoms like cramps or nausea
  • Visit DSAS’ website to find a list of County “Cooling Stations” 
A downloadable “Beat the Heat” tip sheet and a list of County Cooling Stations with contact information are available on their website at dsas.cuyahogacounty.us. For specific heat-related questions, contact the hotline at 216-420-6700.