I took a look at the two-week forecast for El Paso and 10 of the next 14 days are expected to reach or exceed triple digits.  Those of us that are lifelong or longtime El Pasoans may view dealing with extreme weather as standard operating procedure considering we live in the desert, but it’s still important to make sure we know what to do keep ourselves and our pets safe.

Mike provided some excellent information on how to tell if the pavement is simply too hot to take your pup on a walk (make sure to feel that pavement before you let your dog walk on it with unprotected paws).  Let’s not forget that we also need to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the heat as well.

Below are some simple tips and warning signs of potential health emergencies caused by extreme heat courtesy of ready.gov/heat

Basics:

  • Wear light clothing
  • Find air conditioning if possible and stay there
  • Find some shade (and no, I'm not referring to your ex)
  • Water and fluids, drink PLENTY of them (also, it's just good for you in general)
  • DON’T leave pets or people in the car

Things you can do to prepare ahead of time:

  • Make sure your air conditioning unit is working
  • Keep an extra fan or two around just in case
  • Keep your home cool by covering windows with drapes or shades
  • Weathers strip doors and windows if possible
  • Invest in window reflectors
  • Know where you can go to stay/keep cool if your home simply stays too hot
  • Know how to identify the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Signs of Heat Cramps:

  • Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs
  • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally
  • Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or unconsciousness
  • Actions: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.