County Issues Emergency Heat Alert for People, Pets

The county has issued a heat emergency alert for people and pets effective from noon today (July 19) through Sunday, July 21 at 8 p.m.

A heat alert means the heat indices during the period are expected to reach 105 degrees or higher.

Among other recommendations, the county suggests residents:

  • Stay indoors, whenever possible, preferably in anair-conditioned building such as a home, county facility, shopping mall, movie theater or museum.
  • Be careful to avoid strenuous activities.
  • Drink plenty of water, and
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

Signs of heat exposure that could lead to a medical emergency include:

  • Cramps including muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs
  • Heat exhaustion, the first signs of which are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness, and
  • Heat stroke with symptoms that include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness.

In the latter case, residents should call 911 for immediate medical attention.

In addition, the county’s Animal Services Division will be enforcing the anti-cruelty regulations for dogs.

Under the regulation, owners must not leave dogs outside unattended, and watch for signs of heat stress. Those signs (which are similar for cats) include:

  • Restlessness
  • Panting
  • Increased respiratory and or heart rate
  • Excess salivation
  • Vomiting, and
  • Diarrhea.

Pets showing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

Finally, residents can help birds and other wildlife by putting out bowls of fresh water during this heat emergency.

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