With back-to-back triple digit heat predicted for the next several days, the Department of Public Health is asking the community to take extra precautions to avoid heat-related illness and be on the lookout for warning signs.
“We realize that there are essential workers such as construction workers, whose jobs require them to work outside, and residents who prefer running or hiking in the outdoors,” said Angela Mora, Interim Public Health Director. “They need to be especially vigilant in maintaining their hydration, taking breaks to cool down, and be mindful of the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
The National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures over 100 degrees into the weekend, with lows in the 70s and 80s which could present a dangerous situation for El Pasoans, especially those who work or exercise outdoors.
Vulnerable populations such as those over 60 years of age and persons with underlying medical conditions are particularly susceptible to health-related illness.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin, a fast or weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headaches and fainting. Heat stroke, which can be life-threatening, can also include a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, confusion and losing consciousness. Anyone with the symptoms of heat stroke should call 9-1-1, and move to a cooler place immediately.
Preventing heat-related illness is key and all residents should drink plenty of non-sugared and non-alcoholic fluids (please consult with your healthcare provider if you need to restrict fluid intake); wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; stay in air-conditioned places when possible; reduce exercise during the heat; and use sunscreen.
The “Buddy System” should also be used to ensure neighbors and loved ones who may be elderly or at greater risk are practicing these recommendations.
The Extreme Weather Task Force is also accepting donations of fans. They can be dropped off at local fire stations. Those who are in need of a fan can dial 2-1-1 to see if they meet eligibility criteria. They will then receive details on how to receive a free fan.
For more information on heat-related illness, click here.