Excessive heat warning for Verde Valley
Temperatures in the Verde Valley and other low-lying areas are expected to approach or even exceed 108 degrees this weekend and into next week. Prescott’s forecast is for hot weather possibly reaching 100-103 degrees Monday through Wednesday.
As much as Arizona residents seem to treat the heat as no big deal or at worst a mild annoyance, it actually can cause serious health issues. Temperatures this high can put people at risk for heat-related injuries or medical complications, especially if for the very young, elderly, or those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease.
“If you are not able to keep your residence cool, you should consider leaving your home for the day and staying with a friend, or head to a building that is air-conditioned until temperatures drop in the evening,” a Health Advisory press release from Yavapai County Community Health Services and the county Emergency Management Department.
County officials encourage everyone to share this information with others and to check on their neighbors, especially those who are elderly and live alone. Those who work outdoors should drink plenty of fluids, take advantage of shade, and take breaks.
Tips to manage hot weather:
1 - Know the signs of heat illness. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the path to a life-threatening heat stroke follows a fairly predictable series of steps, with several warning signs along the way.
• Thirsty: Being thirsty signals that youre already getting dehydrated. As soon as you get thirsty, make it a point to drink water and get out of the heat.
• Heat cramps: Cramping, pain and spams in your abdominal muscles and legs signals that you losing too much water and salt. Drink water and get inside.
• Heat exhaustion: Signs you are entering dangerous territory include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal, however. Get inside right away and drink half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes until you improve.
• Heat stroke: During heat stroke, your temperature spikes and can damage your brain and internal organs. Signs include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
2 - Drink more water than you think you need. You will need a lot more than 8 cups of water for the day.
3 - Car interiors can easily reach 150-plus degrees. Under no circumstances should you leave your children or pets in the car, even “for a minute.” You also don’t want to leave food or electronics in the car. Be careful not to touch any metal in the car and, if you have black leather seats, consider covering them with a towel. Invest in a windshield cover and a fabric steering wheel cover.
For more tips on preventing illness and effects from excessive heat warnings, go to https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
The Salvation Army’s Verde Valley/Cottonwood staff will be activating a heat relief station at the Cottonwood Recreation Center where people in need can go for cooling and hydration Saturday, June 17, through Wednesday, June 21.
Information provided by Yavapai County Community Health Services.