“You think you’re going to be okay, you go out for a little while, you don’t really drink enough water when you get in, then you go out the next day and cumulatively that effect builds up and you continue to get dehydrated,” said Dr. Dale Criner, Methodist North Hospital’s Emergency Department’s medical director.
NWS Memphis is expecting temperatures to reach upwards of 112 degrees Monday, followed by 107 degrees Tuesday. The trend for the rest of the week will be similar, with multiple heat index days above 100 degrees.
“Several days of heat index values above 100 degrees are expected this week. The effects of heat stress can increase with prolonged exposure over consecutive days,” NWS Memphis said. “Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.”
Criner said that the effects of extreme heat can happen as quickly 15 minutes of exposure. He recommends trying to get all outdoor activities done in the morning or evening. If someone does have to be outside during the hottest part of the day, they should try to drink lots of water and take frequent breaks.
“Unfortunately, some individuals have to work in this heat and they’re going to be constantly drinking water all day and taking a lot of breaks,” Criner said. “And that’s important, make sure you’re drinking throughout the day, make sure you wear light clothing, if you wear a lot excessive clothing or dark clothing that can make it difficult for sweat to evaporate. Avoid drinking alcohol when you’re in heat like this. Try to take frequent breaks, in the shade, preferably in the air condition.”
Criner also encouraged everyone to keep a close eye on people who are more susceptible to the heat. Small children, anyone who is over 75 years old, or anyone who is on multiple medications, including blood pressure medications, will be at a higher risk in the heat.
“We’ve got to take care of our little ones and elderly,” Criner said. “Because they are a vulnerable population. Make sure, please make sure, you check the back of your car before you go to leave because it really only takes a couple of minutes for it to be a tragedy.”
The city of Memphis opened a cooling center Sunday but has not opened one as of Monday afternoon. The center, located at the Marion Hale Community Center on Willow Road and open to the public, was used as a cooling center from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Anyone who needs transportation should call the Office of Emergency Management at 901-297-1680 beginning at 10 a.m.
A City of Memphis cooling center will be opened if the need arises, according to Lieutenant Hunter Smith of the Memphis Fire Department. He said there is not currently one open as many community centers are open on weekdays, which was not the case Sunday.
“It’s a very dynamic system, so we are continuing to monitor the weather,” Smith said. “But, right now, the city’s stance is to urge people to use community centers, shopping malls and libraries to get out of the heat.”
“To be good stewards of our community, remember we do have a homeless population,” Criner said. “And a friendly helping hand, kind of keeping an eye on those individuals who might be down on their luck, and if we see that they’re in trouble, try to get them assistance or get them help. Don’t just turn a blind eye, this heat can be deadly for that population as well.”
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” the organization said. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.”
source: The Commercial Appeal