Excessive Heat Warning issued for central Ohio on Fourth of July

File photo - American flag (WBNS-10TV)

The heat is on and mother nature is going to crank up the furnace on the Fourth of July.

Highs are expected to climb into the low and mid-90s but it’s going to be very muggy with heat index values in the 105-110 range. That means the holiday has the potential to be the hottest day of 2018.

That has prompted the National Weather Service to issue an Excessive Heat Warning in Central and Southern Ohio with heat advisories elsewhere. The highest heat index values are expected between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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Make sure you’re doing what you can to stay safe and hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic and hydrating fluids and take breaks indoors in air conditioning to keep your body’s core temperature at a safe level.

Seek medical attention at the first sign of heat stroke. Also, check on elderly and those without air conditioning as they will be the most susceptible to heat-related illness.

Extreme Heat Safety Tips:

  • Air-conditioning is the best way to prevent heat-related illness and death. During extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls or public libraries.
  • Drink water first for thirst! Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Water is your best option - do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Use your stove and oven less to keep a cooler temperature in your home. Eat light meals.
  • Electric fans may help, but fans will not prevent heat-related illness if temperatures are in the high 90s. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a better way to cool off.
  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a hat when outdoors.
  • Try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Be sure to think of your pets too. Provide plenty of fresh water, and leave the water in a shady area. Bring your pet indoors where it is cooler when you can. Never leave an animal in the car on hot days.

Signs and Symptoms:

Heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can strike at any time. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, headache, absence of perspiration and dry, hot flushed skin. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Local Resources:

Cooling assistance programs are available to qualifying people from several community organizations:

  • Breathing Association and OhioHealth Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
    The Summer Crisis Program provides electric bill assistance and air conditioning units for elderly households and customers that qualify from July 1- August 31. Learn more at 1-866-861-6399 or http://www.breathingassociation.org/heap/summer-crisis-program/.
  • LifeCare Alliance Beat the Heat
    Free fan program for households with immediate family members with chronic health conditions. Call the Fan Hotline at 614-437-2870 for details.
  • Impact Community Action
    The HEAP Summer Crisis Program (SCP) provides electric utility assistance and/or free air conditioners and/or fans to income-eligible households* throughout Columbus and Franklin County. The SCP runs from July 1 - August 31. For more information, call 614-252-2799 or visit www.impactca.org.
  • Franklin County Senior Options
    Free fan program for current clients ages 60 years or older without a working air conditioner. Limited number of fans available. Clients who received a fan in the last two years are ineligible. For more information, call 614-525-6200.

For more heat safety tips, visit https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/, www.myfcph.org or https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html. Also stay tuned to local media for heat and weather updates.