posted Jul 21, 2011, 6:59 AM by Brian Melcer

A significant heat wave will impact the Commonwealth, including Lawrence County from Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23, 2011.  Heat index values will approach a maximum of near 105F statewide on Thursday to a near maximum of 110F on Friday and again on Saturday.  The highest values will be experienced in urbanized areas.  Overnight low temperatures will be in the 70's and may not drop below 80 in urbanized areas. 

Two cooling centers are available in Lawrence County -- elderly citizens who need to seek refuge from the heat can go to Challenges Options on Aging, 2706 Mercer Rd, New Castle, PA between 7am and 4:30 today (Thursday) and tomorrow.  Another cooling center is available at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 110 E Lincoln Ave during daylight hours.  Residents who need assistance regarding the heat are encouraged to call the Emergency Management Office at 724-658-7485.

Here are some tips for dealing with the heat:

Heat Wave Safety Tips:

•Slow Down–Limit strenuous activity, or reschedule for cooler times of the day

•Dress for Summer–Wear light-colored clothing

•Limit some types of Foods–Foods (like proteins) increase metabolic heat production and increase water loss

•Drink plenty of Water or other Non-alcoholic Fluids–Your body needs water to stay cool

•Do Not drink Alcoholic Beverages

•Do Not take Salt Tablets–Unless specified by a physician

•Spend more time in air-conditioned places

•Never leave your child or pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down

•Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination

•Make sure your child’s safety seat and safety belts aren’t too hot

•Don’t get too much sun

Heat Disorder Symptoms:

SUNBURN: Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches. First Aid: Ointments for mild cases if blisters appear and do not break. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by physician.

HEAT CRAMPS: Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible. Heavy sweating. First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Pulse thready. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting. First Aid: Get victim out of sun. Lay down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106°F. or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. First Aid: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. Move the victim to a cooler environment Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do not give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.

 Web Links:

NOAA's Heat Wave  Brochure

NOAA's Heat Page