EMERGENCY OFFICE POSTS ON-LINE TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT

EMERGENCY OFFICE POSTS ON-LINE TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT

While temperatures in the Mesilla Valley have reached record highs in the last week, residents can take preventive measures to avoid heat-related illnesses, according to the Doña Ana County/City of Las Cruces Office of Emergency Management and the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Residents may find important tips on how to beat the summer heat on the county's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Web site. The site lists risk factors and ways to identify and care for a person who may be suffering from heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Symptoms of a heat stroke include headache, flushed and dry skin, aggression and body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

"It's imperative that residents know how to protect themselves during heat waves like we're experiencing," Tom Townsend, emergency management coordinator for OEM, said. "Heat stroke is a potentially fatal heat-related illness, and it can be avoided by following some simple guidelines."

There are also useful how-tos for the home, such as sealing off unused rooms, turning off unnecessary lights and cleaning or replacing air-conditioner filters at least twice during the summer.

Other general tips for beating the heat include:

  • Do not leave children or pets in vehicles, where temperatures inside a vehicle can soar above 140 degrees;
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing;
  • Drink water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body;
  • If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

For more information, contact the local chapter of the American Red Cross at 526-2631. If an emergency exists, immediately call 9-1-1 for assistance. You may also call Grant A. Taylor, assistant to the director of public information, at (505) 647-7290. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 729