With temperatures expected to climb into the 90s again today, officials around the county are urging residents to stay cool.
The National Weather Service reported Monday that temperatures neared the mid-90s and reported the Heat Index, which measures how the temperature feels on human bodies, had reached 99 degrees.
The Delaware General Health District reported that extreme heat waves become dangerous when the temperature reaches “extremely high levels” or when the combination of heat and humidity causes the air to become heavy and oppressive.
“When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperatures rise, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses,” said Traci Whittaker, DPHD information officer. “Heat-related illnesses included heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash.”
Whittaker offered several safety tips when dealing with extreme heat.
“Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water,” she said. “Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar as they can make dehydration worse. Eat fresh, cold foods like salads and fruit. Find air-conditioned shelter, stay indoors, and make use of fans and air conditioners.”
Whittaker said when venturing outside, residents should avoid direct sunlight, wear light-colored clothing and sunscreen, and take cool showers or baths to help cool down.
To help residents fight the heat, the annual Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Fan Drive is being held once again this year.
The program, which was created in 2012, allows donated fans to be dropped off at any Delaware County fire or EMS station. The fans will then be delivered to People in Need, Inc. At that point, they are distributed to those who need relief from the heat. Anyone needing a fan is encouraged to call People in Need, Inc. of Delaware County.
Sandy Mackey, deputy director of the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said “the need is great” this year for fans to help those in need cool off as the temperatures climb.
“We are accepting donations of NEW fans,” Mackey said in an email Monday. “The fan drive runs through September 15 or until cooler weather prevails. Every donation can make a difference in someone’s life!”
The EMA reports all donated fans are used locally. Donations are accepted from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, at Delaware County fire or EMS stations. More information can be found at ema.co.delaware.oh.us.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.