Summer in Georgia is a time for camping trips, cookouts and afternoons by the pool. However, it’s also a time to be aware of the dangers soaring temperatures can bring. Extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming more than 650 lives across the nation each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tift County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) urges residents to take steps now to beat the heat.
“People most at risk for heat-related illness are seniors, infants and people with circulation problems, but staying indoors and drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and hydrated when temperatures rise,” says Tift County EMA Director Jason Jones.
Tift County and Ready Georgia give these 10 tips to ensure a safe summer for every family:
• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
• Fluids are lost through perspiration, so it’s important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty.
• Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Drink two to four cups of water every hour when you are working outside.
• Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning.
• Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
• Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, fatigue, muscle cramps, confusion, cold, pale and clammy skin, a weak rapid pulse, and possible fainting and vomiting. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature reaches 106 degrees. or higher. Symptoms include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Summon immediate emergency medical assistance.