PROVIDENCE, RI — Temperatures climb to the 90s today and stay there through Saturday, prompting a heat advisory for the state for the next two days, with a heat index feeling as hot as 104 degrees.
The heat advisory remains in effect from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m Friday, according to the National Weather Service. During this time, heat index values will range from 95 to 104 degrees Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon across most of Southern New England. The worst of the conditions will be from noon to 6 pm on both Thursday and Friday afternoons.
The heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature, according to the NWS. The weather service warns that the combination of high temperatures and humidity may cause illness is Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
“Extreme heat can be a serious health concern for anyone. However, it’s particularly dangerous for younger children, older adults, and people with underlying health issues,” said Governor Dan McKee, echoing the warning about coming high temperatures. “With the temperatures we are seeing, people should be checking on each other, staying well hydrated, limiting their exposure to the heat, and watching for signs of heat-related illness.”
Tips: Beat the heat
To limit the risk of falling victim to the heat, the NWS and the RI Department of Health recommend:
- When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Drink more fluids than usual, and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol or liquids that contain high amounts of sugar.
- Check on friends and neighbors, particularly older adults and those who are caring for young children.
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, see the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA)’s list of municipal cooling centers in Rhode Island.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Add a hat if you must be outside.
- Limit outdoor activities, especially at mid-day. If you exercise outdoors, move your workout to a morning or evening time.
- If you work outside, wear sunscreen, pace your activity, stay hydrated, and check on co-workers.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down, particularly if you’re unable to be in an air-conditioned location.
- Avoid turning on your oven, if possible. It will make your house hotter.
- Never leave young children or pets in parked cars, even with the windows down.
- If you have special healthcare needs, consider enrolling in the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry (RISNER). Enrolling in RISNER lets police, fire, and other first responders in your community better prepare for and respond to your needs during an emergency. When enrolling in the registry, a person provides information about their healthcare needs (for example, information about mobility issues, information about a visual or hearing impairment, information about the use of a life support system, such as a respirator). For more information or to enroll, visit health.ri.gov/emregistry or call 211/RI Relay 711.
- When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
- Wear light-weight and loose fitting clothing.
- During outdoor work, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.
- Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 911.
Know the signs: heat exhaustion & heat stroke
Heat Exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, or clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting.
During the RI heat advisory, move to a cooler location, lie down, loosen clothing, sip water, and apply cool, wet cloths to help cool the body down. Seek medical attention if vomiting begins, or if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.
Heat Stroke symptoms include high body temperature (above 103 degrees F) combined with hot, red, dry, or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion; and loss of consciousness.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. 911 should be called immediately. Individuals experiencing heat stroke symptoms should also be moved to a cooler environment. Apply cool cloths or place the person into a cool bath to lower body temperature. Fans and ice packs can also be used to cool someone. Ice packs should be placed on the neck, under the armpit, or in the groin area (because these are the areas where large arteries are closest to the surface of the skin).
- Watch for bright red, gray, purple or bluish gums, excessive drooling, dry nose, excessive panting, weakness, etc.).
- Lower the body temperature (place near a fan, take to a cooler location, wetting with cool water), apply water around ears and paws and contact a veterinarian.
Working in the heat? Here’s an app for that.
When you’re working in the heat, safety is a life saver. The free OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool, available for Android and Iphone, offers safety information available on your mobile phone.
The App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple “click,” you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness-reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, adjusting work operations, gradually building up the workload for new workers, training on heat illness signs and symptoms, and monitoring each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
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