Cooling zone opens Sunday as heat wave hits
Merced opens cooling zones starting Sunday
The City of Merced will open its cooling zone Sunday through Wednesday because of the heat wave sweeping through the San Joaquin Valley.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area through Tuesday night because of the temperatures. Sunday's forecast high is 107 and Monday and Tuesday temperature's are expected to reach 108 degrees. The high for Wednesday is currently forecast for 107.
The cooling zone for the City of Merced will be in the Sam Pipes Room of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall) 678 W. 18th St. from 3 to 8 p.m. There will be water, snacks and other supplies available in the room.
There will be free bus rides to the Merced cooling zone provided by The Bus. (Bus service does end at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.)
'This is a good time to check on your neighbors to make sure they are OK, especially seniors and our at-risk populations,' said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz. 'Some people have a harder time adapting to the hot weather, and they may require an extra hand.'
Below are some tips from the state Office of Emergency Services.
Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illness
' Never leave infants, children or the frail elderly unattended in a parked car.
' Drink plenty of fluids. Don't wait until you're thirsty.
' Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Use a hat and sunscreen as needed.
' Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating. (If a client/resident is on a low-sodium diet, check with his/her physician first.)
' During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun.
' Use fans as needed.
' Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when appropriate.
' Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths.
' Avoid hot foods and heavy meals'they add heat to the body. Eat frozen treats.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Heat stroke'which occurs when the body can't control its temperature'may result in disability or death if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses a large amount of water and salt contained in sweat.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include:
' An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
' Dizziness, nausea and confusion
' Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
' Rapid, strong pulse
' Throbbing headache
Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:
' Heavy sweating
' Muscle cramps
' Nausea or vomiting
' Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
What to Do
If you see any of these signs for heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency and should do the following:
' Have someone call 911 while you begin cooling the victim.
' Get the victim to a shady area.
' Cool the victim rapidly with a cool bath or shower, or by sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, orally.
' If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
' Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
' Again, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
If a victim's muscles twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke, keep the victim from injuring him/herself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.