KEYSER - According to the National Weather Service a dangerous and widespread summer heat wave is expected through this upcoming weekend across much of the Central and Eastern United States.

By Barbara High
bhigh@newstribune.info
Tribune Staff Writer
KEYSER - According to the National Weather Service a dangerous and widespread summer heat wave is expected through this upcoming weekend across much of the Central and Eastern United States.
A large dome of high pressure will allow high temperatures to surge into the 90s and 100s in many locations, while heat indices will top 100 and approach 110 degrees or higher. There also will be no relief at night, as low temperatures remain in the upper 70s and 80s.
Although our area is not listed under their heat advisory or excessive heat watch areas, the weekend temps are nevertheless expected to be in the high 90s and the heat index would therefore be over 100 degrees.
According to Luke McKenzie, director of Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, "We do have a hazardous weather advisory for Thursday through Tuesday with the heat index expected 100 or above.”
McKenzie said, however, there are currently no plans to set up any cooling stations in the county.
 "We just don't have the volunteer base to do those,” he said.
McKenzie further explained that, if the need arises, the OEM does  try to do something "when it's absolutely and completely necessary,” like the warming stations they set up during power outages last winter.
He recommends following heat advisory safety precautions such as trying to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, checking on family and friends to make sure they're ok, keeping your pets inside, and drinking plenty of fluids,” among others.
During extremely hot and humid weather, your body's ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness.
It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of warning signs and symptoms of heat illness, and recommended first aid steps.
The National Weather Service cautions people about heat side effects, which include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. They also listed some tips to stay cool during the heat and how to avoid complications.
1.    Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids; drink about 16 ounces before starting and 5 to 7 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes.
    2.    Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks can hurt more than help.
    3.    Wear protective clothing. Lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing helps protect against heat. Change clothing if it gets completely saturated.
    4.    Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace. Know your own limits and ability to work safely in heat.
    5.    Schedule frequent breaks. Take time for rest periods and water breaks in a shaded or air conditioned area.
    6.    Use a damp rag. Wipe your face or put it around your neck.
    7.    Avoid getting sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat if working outside.
    8.    Be alert to signs of heat-related illness. Know what to look for and check on other workers that might be at high risk.
    9.    Avoid direct sun. Find shade or block out the sun if possible.
    10.    Eat smaller meals. Eat fruits high in fiber and natural juice. Avoid high protein foods.
    11.    
–How to Respond to Excessive Heat Events
    •    Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
    •    Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
    •    Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don't leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.
    •    Drink plenty of water (not very cold), non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don't feel thirsty. If you on a fluid restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids.
    •    Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.
    •    Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
    •    Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.
    •    Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.
    •    Take a cool bath or shower.
    •    Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
    •    Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat. Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.  Keep your children, disabled adults, and pets safe during tumultuous heat waves.
    •    Don't leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cell phones and gps units, sitting in hot cars.
    •    Make sure rooms are well vented if you are using volatile chemicals.
    •    For more heat health tips, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 For those who work outdoors and can’t avoid the upcoming heat, safety tip were also offered.
–Heat Safety for Outdoor Workers
Outdoor workers can be at a higher risk to the effects of excessive heat. See Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) resources and recommended practices when working under hot conditions.
    •    Drink water often
    •    Rest and cool down in the shade during breaks
    •    Gradually increase workload and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more
    •    Know symptoms, prevention, and emergency response to prevent heat-related illness and death  
    •    Check weather forecasts ahead of time to be better prepared.
    •    Some other safety tips remind us that it is NEVER okay to leave a child, disabled person, or pet in a car. With temp expecting to soar, death can happen rather quickly! Also many children have died from playing in vehicles and or accidentally getting locked in them. It is advised to keep all vehicle doors, and trunks locked.
    •    Four your four legged friends the ASPCA offered this advice.
    •    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. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
    •    Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
    •    Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
    •    Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
    •    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.