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Prepare for extreme heat

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By The Staff

With summer fast approaching, Marion County Emergency management is encouraging citizens to be prepared for extreme heat. Older adults, young children, and people who are sick or overweight are most likely to be affected by extreme heat, particularly if they have overexerted themselves.

To prepare for extreme heat, make sure window air-conditioning units are installed snugly and insulated, if needed. Air conditioning ducts should also be insulated. Window reflectors (such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, which can be placed between windows and drapes) can reflect heat back outside. Doors can be weather-stripped to seal in cool air, and windows that receive morning and afternoon sunlight, can be covered with drapes, awnings and louvers. Storm windows should stay up all year.

During heat emergencies, stay indoors on the lowest floor possible and in air-conditioning, if possible. During the hottest part of the day, people may want to consider visiting public places that are air conditioned, such as libraries, movie theaters, shopping centers and community facilities.

People should also eat well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water. However, people who have epilepsy, heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid-restricted diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing their fluid intake.

People should also limit consumption of alcoholic beverages, wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing, protect their heads and faces with wide-brimmed hats, and wear sunscreen. When working in the heat, avoid doing the most strenuous work during the hottest part of the day, work with a buddy and take frequent breaks.

It's also recommended that people check on friends and family who may be susceptible to the heat. Children and pets should never be left unattended in closed vehicles.