WILLIAMSON — Saying that the past few days have been hot might be an understatement.
It has been sweltering. It has been scorching. Burning. Sticky. Sultry. Torrid. And worst of all?
It’s not going away.
While today is the last forecast triple-digit temperature in the foreseeable future (105), Sunday has a high of 98 degrees; Monday with 96; and the rest of the week stays around 92.
So what is a person to do? The following tips from the Weather Channel and United Way may be of some use:
• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to sun.
• Stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, if air conditioning is not available.
• Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
• Eat regular, light, well-balanced meals and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages.
• Drink plenty of water. People who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
• Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use the buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
• Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
• Dress for summer. Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain a normal temperature.
• Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
• Do not take salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
• Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.
• Close curtains and windows in the morning; open windows and doors at night. Keep lights off or turned down.
• Keep a few water bottles in your freezer. If the power goes out, move them to your refrigerator and keep the doors shut.
• Ask your doctor about prescription medicine you keep refrigerated. If you lose power, most medicines can be left in a closed refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
• Watch for signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion in others.
In fact, the heat has been so worrisome that the Pike County Government has taken precautions against the 100+ degree temperatures
The weather forecast prompted Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and the Pike County Government to issue a burning ban, in effect until further notice, and to open cooling centers around the county.
“What we are doing is keeping people safe,” Rutherford said. “With temperatures this hot, children, the elderly and anyone with a medical condition are in grave danger and it is my duty to ensure everyone has a place to go so they can keep cool.”
Pike County’s senior citizens centers and community centers will be open regular hours, as well as Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and will be used as cooling stations.
Pike County’s magistrates are also assisting in getting people in their district to the closest cooling station.
“It is important people take preventative measures when it comes to dangerous heat,” Pike County Emergency Services Coordinator Doug Tackett said. “It is also important that animals have fresh, cool water and shade.”
Cooling stations throughout the county are at senior centers, including Blackberry and Belfry.
For more information, contact Pike County Community Services Director Carol Napier at 432-6246. In the event of an emergency, call 911.