Beat the Heat El Paso!

9 07 2010

The City of El Paso

The Spring and Summer months are especially prone to conditions that create severe weather, such as thunderstorms, lightning strikes, floods, tornadoes and thunderstorms and extreme heat in the Summer. In the past three years, El Paso has seen 32 heat related deaths in the area, with 12 deaths in 2004 alone.

Part of the action plan is to use the Buddy System to look out for each other, especially the elderly and infirmed during the hot Summer days that lay ahead. Officials also suggest creating and maintaining an emergency kit that should contain: water (3 gallons per person), non-perishable foods, a first-aid kit, flashlights, a portable radio and batteries.

For more information on how you can be a Buddy, contact the Severe Weather Task Force at (915) 771-1011 or (915) 771-5703.

What is a Buddy?

Anyone can be a buddy. A Buddy can be a friend, relative, neighbor or landlord. A Buddy should be someone an elderly person who lives alone can trust in his or her home.

What does a Buddy do?

A Buddy makes a daily personal visit or telephone call to his or her elderly Buddy during a heat wave or is on the lookout for distressed animals that may be experiencing the dangers of extreme heat. A Buddy encourages the elderly person to rest, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. If there are any errands that must be done, the Buddy does them or makes sure they get done.

How to help an elderly person saty cool

Air conditioning is the best safeguard, but many elderly persons do not have or turn on their air conditioner. If there is no air conditioning, all elderly persons should at least have open windows and an electric fan. Buddies make sure the elderly are wearing light weight clothes appropriate for the heat, that they have water to drink and that windows are open to provide ventilation. (CAUTION: If the windows are kept closed and the room is very hot, using a fan can make the danger worse.)

If the temperature is very high, the elderly person should be taken to an air conditioned environment such as a neighbor or relative’s air conditioned home, a movie theatre, a shopping mall, supermarket, library or any other city buildings. Cool baths and showers are helpful.

For more information on city sponsored Heat Relief Centers that may be open during periods of unusual heat call 771-5702.

Protect your Pets

Make sure your pet has a cool dog house or shelter, always have plenty of cool water (remember that water that sits outside during hot weather will end up getting very hot and undrinkable), food, and remember NEVER to have your pet restrained or tied up outside.

In extremely hot or cold weather – bring your pet inside your home. If you notice symptoms from exposure to extreme weather conditions such as: If you see them with rapid breathing, dry mouth and nose, rapid heart rate, and gums are grayish pick or red they are experiencing early stages of heat stroke. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! GET HELP IMMEDIATELY! Take them to the veterinary as soon as possible.

It is never recommended that your pet remain outdoors for an extended period of time. Remember to have plenty of shade for them as well as plenty of clean, cool water placing it under a shade accessible to your pet. It is important to take these precautionary steps!

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