Home Health & Education Nashville Office of Emergency Management urges heat precautions

Nashville Office of Emergency Management urges heat precautions

by PRIDE Newsdesk
The Nashville Office of Emergency Management is urging Nashvillians to be mindful of extreme heat and severe weather this summer. 

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management is urging everyone to be mindful of extreme heat and severe weather.

Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days.

“Please be mindful of the signs of heat illnesses. Also, check on vulnerable people including children and older adults as dangerously high temperatures move into Metro Nashville and Davidson County,” says the office.

OEM’s protocol is to activate mobile or stationary cooling stations once the heat index reaches 110 degrees for a prolonged period.

During extraordinary circumstances like several heat-related illness calls, this plan can be activated for the public safety.

OEM will be doing heat patrols throughout the summer to provide water to those who are outside and offering transportation to shelters if requested.

Residents are urged to stay weather-aware, especially if you’re outdoors.

Things to remember during periods of extreme heat:

  • Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute, or if the car is running.
  • Keep your car locked when you are not in it, so kids don’t gain access.
  • Create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse, cell phone, or your left shoe.
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
  • Set a calendar reminder on your electronic device to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare. Develop a plan so you will be alerted if your child is late or a no-show

People aged 65 years or older do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Older adults should stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, contact your local health department, or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area like city community centers, libraries and other public buildings.

  • Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s extremely hot outside.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
    • If your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.

You should also pay close attention to your pets during the hot and humid days ahead.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) you should know:

  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
  • Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. Be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Metro Nashville’s Action Commission has programs available to help with energy assistance.

  • For severe weather, remember to have multiple ways of receiving weather alerts.
  • It is important you take precautions prior to and during this weather event both at home and when traveling along roadways.

For important safety information and weather updates, sign up for the Metro Emergency Alert & Notification System (MEANS). The free MEANS mobile app can be downloaded from the Metro Nashville Government Mobile Apps website at <www.nashville.gov/departments/government/mobile-apps>.

  • Severe weather can cause power outages prepare now at <www.ready.gov/power-outages>.
  • Power outage tip: Dim the brightness in your cell phone settings to save battery life.
  • Contact the NES Power Outage Center.

Metro Action provides air conditioners at no cost to at-risk households

The Metropolitan Action Commission Summer Cooling program provides air conditioning units at no cost to at-risk residents.

The agency’s cooling program prioritizes income-eligible residents who are:

  • Sixty years or older
  • Physically disabled or with a medical condition that is worsened by extreme temperatures
  • Households with children aged five or younger

“Having a program like this allows our agency to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable citizens in our community such as asthma sufferers, young children, and others with disabilities or medical conditions that become worse if they are overheated,” said Marvin D. Cox, director of Family and Community Services.

The program is supported partially by financial contributions and donations of new air conditioning units. The Fan and Air Conditioner Program application period ends on August 30.

Anyone interested in applying for help should call 615-862-8860, extension 70120, or visit the agency’s website at <www.nashville.gov/mac>.

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