The National Weather Service is calling for dangerous high temperatures this week.
The NWS is predicting triple digits every day this week, staring with 103 on Sunday and 101 on Monday, before jumping to near record levels. The NWS calls for 109 Tuesday, 111 Wednesday, 108 Thursday, and 104 Friday. There is a small chance the temperature Wednesday could spike a few degrees higher. A slight chance of thunderstorms (20 percent) enters the forecast Friday night and Saturday with lower triple digits still expected.
With excessive heat warnings, the Texas Department of State Health Services urges people to be aware of the signs of heat illness and take precautions to protect themselves from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The elderly, young children, people with chronic diseases and those without access to air conditioning are most at risk.
Staying in an air-conditioned area, either at home or at public places like malls, libraries or community centers, is the best way to combat heat. People can find a map of cooling centers maintained by the Texas Division of Emergency Management at tdem.texas.gov/cool. If air conditioning is not available, open windows, pull down shades to keep out direct sunlight and use fans to cool rooms.
The best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Stay cool, drink plenty of fluids, wear cool clothing and limit strenuous outdoor activities. Other precautions:
Take action at the first sign of heat illness. Symptoms of heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak but rapid pulse and headaches. People experiencing these symptoms should find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation. If symptoms don’t improve, seek medical attention.
Never leave anyone, including pets, in a parked vehicle – even for a short time. Vehicles can heat up to deadly temperatures within minutes. Cracking the windows does little to keep temperatures down. If your child sits in the back seat, put your purse, briefcase, wallet or another essential item behind you so you’ll notice your child is there before exiting the vehicle. Young children are particularly vulnerable to heat. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see an unattended child in a vehicle.
Check frequently on older friends, neighbors and family members. Visit at least twice a day and watch for signs of heat illness. Assist them with transportation to places with air conditioning and make sure they know what to do if they experience heat illness. Most deaths caused by heat stroke occur in people older than 50 years old. They are more likely to have a medical condition or be taking medication that can interfere with the body’s response to heat.
Drink plenty of water. Drink liquids 30 minutes before going outside and continue even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.