DPS urges Texas residents to use caution in extreme heat

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Texans to prepare themselves for hotter than normal temperatures and to take precautions to stay safe as heat indices hit 100 degrees or higher across the state. Temperatures this high increase the risk of heat-related injuries or deaths.

“Although hot conditions are expected during Texas summers, we want to remind Texans that high temperatures can be deadly and should not be taken lightly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a press release Thursday.

According to DPS heat-reated deaths and injuries are preventable if citizens take necessary steps to keep themselves and other safe both outside and indoors.

Because temperatures inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in only 10 minutes, children left unattended in vehicles are at a greater risk of injury or death especially during warm weather conditions, DPS reported.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even when its only 60 degrees outside, the temperatures inside a vehicle can reach 110, and leaving windows partially rolled down does not help.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heat waves are one of the leading causes of extreme weather related deaths in the United States.

“Periods of severe heat and high humidity tax the body’s ability to cool itself and can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal,” DPS stated.

DPS offers the following tips for staying safe and managing the heat:

  • Check on the elderly, sick or very young, especially if they don’t have air conditioning.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol during prolonged outdoor exposure. Start consuming water before you head outdoors; you may not realize you’re dehydrated until it’s too late.
  • Pay attention to your body. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can develop quickly. If you start feeling ill, immediately find a shaded or cooler area and slowly drink fluids. Seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Monitor weather radios and newscasts for information on current conditions and weather alerts in your area.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun. Consider indoor activities this summer at places like shopping mall,s the library or other community facilities.
  • Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a hat are recommended during outdoor exposure.
  • If possible, avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day.
  • Be extra careful when cooking outdoors, building campfires or driving off road to avoid igniting dry vegetation. Also, stay aware of burn bans in your area and always abide by restrictions on outside burning.
  • Don’t forget animals are also susceptible to heat-related injury or death – don’t put your pets in these dangerous conditions. For more information on pet safety, visit http://goo.gl/xi6A8o.

For more information, go to dps.texas.gov/dem/Preparedness/tips/hotWeatherSafetyTips.htm

or nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/.