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County Issues Warning Over Forecasted Extreme Heat

For the next few days, Chautauqua County will be in the grips of extreme heat with summertime temperatures that are much hotter than average and high humidity levels.

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this, over 1,200 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The Chautauqua County Health Department urges residents to take precautions and seek cooling centers if needed.

“In the coming days we will see the highest temperatures so far this year here in Chautauqua County,” said Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel Jr. “Please be aware of the impact this heat and humidity can have on you, your loved ones and your pets.”

“Extreme heat is one of the most potentially dangerous weather conditions. Multiple days of extreme heat is much harder on the body than just one day,” stated Michael Faulk M.D., Chautauqua County’s Chief Medical Officer. “New Yorkers’ bodies are not accustomed to long periods of extreme heat which could trigger a heat related illness. These illnesses are on a spectrum and may range from heat cramps, to heat exhaustion, up to heat stroke; which is a true medical emergency. It is critically important to stay cool and hydrated; know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. Infants and older individuals and those with complex medical needs, as well as people who work outdoors are at greatest risk.”

STAY COOL

· Wear appropriate clothing. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

· Stay cool indoors. Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall/store or a public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they may not prevent heat-related illness. Using a fan, in combination with a cool mist from a spray bottle or damp wash cloth, or after taking a cool shower or bath, is a very effective way for the body to be cooled. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home. If you do not have access to air conditioners at home, you may want to use fans during the middle of the day on upper levels to vent hot air out.

Chautauqua County Cooling Centers:

— Ahira Hall Memorial Library in Brocton

— Alexander Free Library in Sherman

— Ashville Free Library

— Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. in Dunkirk and Jamestown.

— Department of Mental Hygiene and Social Services in Jamestown, Dunkirk and Mayville.

— Ellington-Farman Free Library

— Hazeltine Public Library in Busti.

— James Prendergast Library in Jamestown.

— Joy Fellowship Free Methodist Church in Jamestown.

— Lakewood Memorial Library.

— Myers Memorial Library in Frewsburg.

— Sinclairville Free Library

Other tips include:

— Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover. If you must work during extreme heat, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

— Pace yourself. Cut down on exercise during the heat. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

— Wear sunscreen. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

— Do not leave children or pets in cars. Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying.

STAY HYDRATED. Drink plenty of fluids. Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor limits the amount you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks. These actually cause you to lose more body fluid.

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