Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides reminds residents to be aware of the heat that is forecast for this summer and announces updates to the city’s Heat Emergency Action Plan (HEAP) for the 2015 season.
“Each year we turn to Deputy Chief Kevin Simmons and his team at the Office of Emergency Management to ensure the plan is updated and all Department Directors know their role in protecting our residents during periods of excessive heat,” Mayor Pantelides said.
According to the city’s plan, the Roger “Pip” Moyer Community Recreation Center at Truxtun Park (273 Hilltop Lane) is opened as a daytime cooling center when heat index reaches 105 degrees. The cooling center will provide water and a place for the public to cool off and avoid the heat, but will not have access to recreation activities. Annapolis also encourages the public to visit local malls, libraries, and other public places to stay cool during dangerously hot weather. For more information on the HEAP, call the City’s Office of Emergency Management at 410-216-9167.
The following City Departments and County Agencies work together to support cooling center operations:
- Annapolis Office of Emergency Management
- Annapolis Department of Recreation & Parks
- Annapolis Fire Department
- Annapolis Police Department
- Annapolis Department of Transportation
- Annapolis Mayor’s Office
- Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities
- Anne Arundel County Department of Health
- Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services
- Salvation Army
Reminders on how to stay safe during periods of extremely hot weather:
Fire Chief David L. Stokes Sr. warns of the problems that come with the extreme heat, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. He said that ambulance crews usually experience an increase in medical calls during extended periods of hot weather.
“Heat-related illnesses are preventable,” Chief Stokes said. “The important thing is to stay well hydrated. The best fluid to drink when you’re sweating is water. It’s also important to be sensible about how much you exert yourself in hot weather. The hotter and more humid it is, the harder the body has to fight to cool itself.”
The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Symptoms of heat-related illness:
- Mild heat-related illness, which includes heat cramp, can be recognized through some of the following symptoms:
- Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet.
- Hard, tense muscles.
- Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that occurs when an individual has been exposed to high temperatures, and is often accompanied with dehydration. Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps
- Pale, moist skin
- Usually has a fever over 100.4° F (or 34° C)
- Anxiety, and faint feeling
- Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat illness. Individuals suffering from heatstroke will have warm, flushed skin and will not sweat. This is considered a critical medical emergency. These patients must have their temperature reduced quickly and taken directly to the hospital.
Please also be advised:
- If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.