Hot temperatures, low humidity will increase risk of dehydration, heat stroke

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FARMINGTON — The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The watch will be in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday.

According to the warning, record breaking heat may occur over the week and temperatures will be between eight and 12 degrees above normal. The National Weather Service warned that hot temperatures and low humidity will increase risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

San Juan County Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michele Truby-Tillen said people should know swamp coolers can only keep houses between 10 and 20 degrees cooler than the outside.

"It's going to be hot inside," she said.

She said people should drink water rather than Gatorade or energy drinks, however she cautioned against drinking ice water if people are working outside.

Animals should also be provided with shady areas and access to dirt that they can dig in, Truby-Tillen said. She said dogs should have shade other than dog houses.

"A dog house is probably 20 degrees hotter than the outside," she said.

Livestock and pets should be provided with plenty of water.

Farmington Police Department spokeswoman Georgette Allen said pets and children should not be left inside cars.

"The inside of a vehicle can rise to extreme temperatures within a few minutes," she said.

 

She said dogs can even overheat if they are left in the back of trucks.

Allen said people should leave their pets at home and children should never be left in cars for any reason.

Allen said people who see children or pets locked inside a vehicle should call 9-1-1.

"We don't advise citizens to take it into their own hands," she said. 

 

Truby-Tillen also urged residents to check on their neighbors, especially senior citizens.

If someone shows signs of heatstroke or heat stress, they should be taken to Urgent Care, she said.

She said doctors will determine how severe the heatstroke is and how fast the body needs to be cooled. The American Red Cross provides information about heat stroke at redcross.org and on its mobile app.

Truby-Tillen said people should only work outside during the morning or evening and should avoid sitting outside in the sun.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

 

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