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For Release: Aug. 5, 2011 – Contact Larry Weatherford, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Keep Vulnerable Oklahomans in Mind During Heat Wave

Oklahomans should pay special attention to relatives, friends and neighbors who might be vulnerable to heat-related illness. This includes the elderly, people with medical conditions, and anyone else who may have difficulty adapting to the record temperatures in Oklahoma.

“If you know someone who might be susceptible to the heat, check in with them as often as possible to make sure they are okay,” said Scott Sproat, chief of Emergency Preparedness and Response Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  “Specifically, encourage them to take precautions such as staying cool indoors in air conditioned rooms and drinking more water than usual, even if they are not thirsty.”

People with a chronic medical condition are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Also, they may be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. People in this category need the following information:

  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates regularly.
  • 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.
  • Sign up to receive free weather alerts to your phone or e-mail at www.weather.com/mobile.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you or someone you know experiences symptoms of heat-related illness, including feeling faint or weak.

For more information on heat safety, visit www.health.ok.gov.

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