OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Experts are urging Oklahomans to be extra cautious as the scorching hot triple-digit temperatures are supposed to last all week.
“Heat exhaustion is the first stop on the road to heatstroke and heat stroke can be deadly,” said Adam Paluka with EMSA.
Over the weekend, EMSA issued a medical heat alert. EMSA issues a heat alert when paramedics respond to five or more heat-related illness calls in a 24-hour period.
According to Paluka, medics responded to 17 total heat-related illness calls over the weekend and took 10 patients to the hospital.
“What’s very concerning is that yesterday on Sunday, all of our heat related illness calls resulted in a transport to the hospital which means folks are sick enough that they need immediate medical intervention,” said Paluka.
To avoid reaching the point of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke, EMSA offered the following tips:
- Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours before being out in the summer heat
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide brimmed hat if working outdoors
- Take plenty of breaks in the shade
- No alcohol or caffeine
- If you do not have air conditioning, find a cooling station or public area with air conditioning during the day
- Don’t limit your air conditioning use
- Use the buddy system if working outdoors
- Check on elderly neighbors
- Keep a cell phone on you at all times when outdoors
OG&E is also reminding Oklahomans of measures to keep their homes cool.
“Closing the drapes to the front of your house or wherever the sun pours through,” said Carson Cunningham, a spokesman for OG&E. “We really encourage using ceiling fans. They only use the same energy as one light bulb… A very easy step that folks don’t think about is if you raise your thermostat just one degree, it can save up to 3% on your energy costs.”
Cunningham also recommends people take advantage of the cool zones set up around the metro if they need a break.
“I was out running errands recently and I had to stop at one because I was overheated and my AC and my car was kind of acting up a little bit. I stopped, cooled down, had a soda and went about my day,” said Cunningham.
Below is a list of cooling shelters:
- Almonte Library, 2914 SW 59 St.
- Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S Walker
- Capitol Hill Library, 327 SW 27 St.
- Earlywine Park YMCA, 1801 S May Ave.
- Wright Library, 101 Exchange Ave.
- Homeless Alliance Day Shelter, 1724 NW Fourth St.
- Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA, 1 NW Fourth St.
- Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23 St.
- Ronald J. Norick Library Downtown, 3000 Park Ave.
- Red Shield Dining Room, 1001 N Pennsylvania Ave.
- Patience S. Latting Northwest Library, 5600 NW 122 St.
- Belle Isle Library, 5500 N Villa Ave.
- The Village Library, 10307 N Pennsylvania Ave.
- Northside Branch YMCA, 10000 N Pennsylvania Ave.
- Jones Library, 12900 E Britton Road.
- Rockwell Plaza YMCA, 8300 Glade Ave.