An Extreme Heat Alert is In Effect

The Greater Twin Cities United Way has informed MHAM that an extreme heat alert is in effect from today, Thursday, August 13 through tomorrow, Friday, August 14, 2009.

Temperatures are to reach the 90s with high heat index and humidity.  Today it will be warm and muggy with few thunder storms possible early this evening.  Friday is predicted to be hot and muggy, few clouds and isolated thunder storms are possible.  High temperatures at 87 to 92 and winds at 10-20mph are expected.

Individuals on certain medications may be more vulnerable to heat stress. Persons taking regular medication should consult with their physician.  Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather. If you are on such a medication, or if you know someone who is, please take a look at these strategies for managing heat stress.

To avoid heat-related illness, metro residents of all ages should:

  • Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas.  If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering and sunscreen.  A wide brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun; it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
  • Shut blinds and open windows slightly during the day to release trapped hot air.  Use air conditioners if you have them.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water and fruit juices; avoid alcohol, carbonated or caffeinated drinks.  Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
  • Eat frequent, small meals; avoid high-protein foods
  • Take cool baths or showers—cold water can lower body temperatures 25 times faster than sitting in an air-conditioned room
  • Spend time (even 2 hours will reduce the risk of heat-related illness) in an air-conditioned environment or basement; cover windows to block direct sunlight; turn lights on low or off; use fans to blow hot air outside.
  • Do NOT direct fans to blow in at you.  Fans can actually increase heat stress.
  • Do not leave older people, children, or pets, alone in cars.

Non-emergency questions about how to stay cool—call 2-1-1 or visit the Minnesota Department of Health for further information.

Emergency heat-related health problems—call 9-1-1