(August 27, 2013) -The City of St. Louis Department of Health is alerting citizens that the National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a heat advisory, which will be in effect from noon today until 7.00 p.m. Saturday, August 31, 2013. Hot temperatures combined with expected high humidity levels will result in heat index values rising to around 100 degrees in the St. Louis metro area.
All residents, especially the elderly, young children, and those at risk for heat related illness, should take precautions to protect themselves from the heat. Stay in the coolest environment possible and limit or stop outdoor activity. Try to spend at least part of each day in air conditioning. Drink plenty of cool water to prevent dehydration and avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine. Check daily on elderly or chronically ill relatives and neighbors.
Children should never be left in closed vehicles. In extreme heat children or pets can perish when left inside a closed vehicle for even a short period of time. Make sure that outdoor pets have access to shade and fresh water at all times.
Down St. Louis is helping area seniors and the disabled with their air-conditioning and utilities; and area low-income households may also apply for utility assistance only, at 314-241-7668, or www.cooldownstlouis.org.
For information on cooling sites, contact the United Way Greater St. Louis Information Referral line at 1-800-427-4626 or if calling from a land line phone, dial 2-1-1. For help with a serious heat related illness, call 911.
The City of St. Louis coordinates all weather related responses with Operation Weather Survival (OWS) www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=ows. This regional body is a network of public and private organizations that collaborate, coordinate resources, and help educate the public to prevent illness and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather.
Precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses:
• Stay in the coolest environment available. If you are outdoors, try to stay in the shade. While indoors, use an air conditioner if possible. When using a fan, keep windows on the shady side open and use the fan for ventilation. When temperatures are above 95 degrees F., spend time in air-conditioned public places if no air conditioning is available at home.
• Drink plenty of cool water and other iced, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated liquids.
• Eat light, easily digested food; avoid hot, heavy meals. Limit cooking to keep indoor temperatures lower.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored natural fiber clothing. Wear a hat to protect your head from the sun.
• Limit activity in the middle of the day when temperatures are the hottest. Those working outdoors or in non-air conditioned buildings should drink plenty of fluids and, if possible, adjust working hours.
• Don’t forget outdoor pets. If they can’t be brought inside, be sure to provide shade and cool fresh water daily.
• Be extremely cautious if you have chronic respiratory problems since excessive heat can contribute to poor air quality.
• Do not increase salt or potassium intake without consulting your doctor. Check all medications with your pharmacist for increased risk of heat related illness.
• If you feel unusually weak, dizzy, or confused, call your doctor or 911.
• Check regularly on elderly, chronically ill or incapacitated relatives, neighbors and friends. If they have air conditioning available, encourage them to use it.
• If you are age 60 or older, have been sick recently, or live alone without air conditioning, go to an air-conditioned place to stay or for at least several hours daily.
• Bathe or shower frequently using cool water.