NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging people to be mindful of the extreme heat over the next several days, with heat index values expected to reach up to 107 degrees in some areas.
A heat advisory was in effect Monday from noon to 8 p.m. for Davidson County and much of the western half of Middle Tennessee, and according to the OEM, it’s not expected to get cooler any time soon. More heat warnings are possible over the next several days.
A heat advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. That typically means the maximum heat index is expected to be 100 degrees or higher for at least two days and nighttime temperatures won’t drop below 75 degrees.
According to the OEM, the current heat advisory has forecast heat index values of up to 107 degrees. As a result, the OEM Emergency Support Unit will be doing heat patrols in Nashville every day this week and will provide water and shelter for those who request it.
The Nashville OEM said it will activate mobile or stationary cooling stations if the heat index reaches 110 degrees for a prolonged period of time, or in the event of “extraordinary circumstances” like several heat-related illnesses.
Nashville Electric Service (NES) has also suspended residential disconnections of services for non-payment beginning Monday, Aug. 21. NES plans to resume disconnections on Monday, Aug. 28.
Amid the extreme heat, the OEM urges the public to check on vulnerable adults and children, as well as take precautions to avoid heat illness, which in severe cases, can be deadly.
Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea and weakness. While signs of heat stroke often include confusion, dizziness and even unconsciousness. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Below is a list of things the OEM suggests people keep in mind during periods of extreme heat.
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for one minute or if the car is running.
- Keep your car locked when you are not in it, so kids don’t gain access.
- Create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse, cell phone or your left shoe.
- If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
- Set a calendar reminder on your electronic device to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare; develop a plan so you will be alerted if your child is late or a no-show.
For older adults:
People aged 65 years or older do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Older adults should stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, contact your local health department, or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area like city community centers, libraries and other public buildings.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s extremely hot outside.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- If your doctor limits the number of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook — it will make you and your house hotter.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest.
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
You should also pay close attention to your pets during the hot and humid days ahead. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) you should know:
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
- Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
- Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
- Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
- When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.