COLUMBIA, MD – In response to high temperatures forecast by the National Weather Service, Dr. Kelly Russo, Howard County Health Department Medical Director, has issued a heat alert for Howard County. The alert has been issued for Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday September 6 from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with high temperatures expected to be in the mid-to-high 90s. The high temperatures combined with high humidity will make outside temperatures feel even hotter with heat index values reaching up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illness.
The warning signs of heat-related illness include the following: light-headedness, headaches, muscle cramps, mild nausea or confusion, fatigue or profuse sweating and rapid breathing. All residents are encouraged to take a common-sense approach to the extreme heat and take the following precautions to prevent heat related illness:
- NEVER leave children or pets unattended in a parked car or other hot environment.
- If you must be out in the heat, wear light-colored, light-weight, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and sunscreen.
- Stay well hydrated. Drink water and caffeine-free liquids. Avoid alcoholic beverages. (Alcoholic beverages do not keep you hydrated.)
- Stay out of the sun during the hours of 10:00a.m. and 3:00p.m.
- Take frequent rest breaks in air conditioned or shaded environments.
- Check on elderly friends, family and neighbors. Be aware of the symptoms of heat related illness: extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, possible vomiting or fainting, dry red skin.
- Additional heat safety resources can be found on the Health Department website here.
Howard County residents in need of a cooler environment can visit one of Howard County’s Community Centers, 50+ Centers, or Library branches during normal hours. Anyone in need of shelter or other assistance should call the Grassroots hotline at 410-531-6677.
As with any other emergency, citizens should call 9-1-1 if they encounter a heat related emergency. For more detailed information, visit the Health Department website at www.hchealth.org.