The Rock County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to take measures to avoid heat-related illness this week by—if all else fails—getting wet.
In a news release issued Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s office encouraged people to take precautions, noting heat is a leading cause of weather-related deaths in Wisconsin.
When symptoms of heat exhaustion appear, take action immediately to reduce body temperature, the release advises. Steps can include taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath or wearing wet clothing.
On the other hand, the advice is to lay off excessive alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals.
Those most at risk are children, older adults and those with chronic physical or mental health conditions.
The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the 90s from Wednesday through Sunday, with the highest temperature of 96 on Friday.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include fainting, rash, fatigue and nausea. Skin can become clammy and moist or hot and dry. Heat stroke can come on rapidly and might progress to life-threatening illness within minutes.
The sheriff’s office asked businesses and other organizations that would like to serve as cooling centers to contact its emergency management office at 608-758-8403.
Cooling centers are not overnight shelters, and those who use them are responsible for their own belongings, water and nourishment, according to the release.
The heat index—which reflects both temperature and humidity—is expected to rise into the 90s and could rise above 100 degrees Thursday and Friday in Rock County, according to the release.
The release included these tips:
- Never leave people or pets in parked vehicles. Temperatures become life-threatening within just minutes. Eighty degrees outside can become 100 degrees in a vehicle in less than 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open.
- Drink a lot of water. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, alcohol or heavy meals.
- Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the sun’s rays. Wear a hat and always wear sunscreen outdoors.
- Take frequent breaks from outdoor activity. Plan outings early in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower.
- Check on family, friends and elderly.
- Check pets and livestock more frequently and have shade and cool water available at all times. Bring pets into air-conditioned areas if possible.
- Keep living areas as cool as possible. Cover windows to minimize sunlight and use basement and ground-level floors, which usually are cooler.
- Those without air conditioning shoul
- d use cooling centers.
- Limit exercising pets to early morning or late evening.
Warning signs of heatstroke in animals include heavy panting, glazed eyes and excessive thirst. Seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Cooling centers include public buildings, malls, libraries and senior centers. Family or neighbors also can provide air conditioning.