County officials urge area residents to protect against heat-related illness

VANCOUVER — With temperatures expected to reach and exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit today through Friday, Public Health officials are urging residents to take precautions.

“We encourage people to avoid or limit physical activity outdoors, take shelter in air-conditioned buildings, and drink plenty of fluids,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “Elderly people and the very young are especially vulnerable during periods of intense or prolonged heat. Don’t forget your pets.”

Public libraries, shopping malls and cinemas are examples of places where people can go to escape the heat. Some other air-conditioned spots in Clark County are listed below.

Area meteorologists, including Steve Pierce of Portland’s Koin 6, are predicting that temperatures will top 100 degrees this week. Photo courtesy Steve Pierce/Koin 6 Weather

Battle Ground

  • Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug.1-3. Bring books, board games, puzzles, electronic devices,’ even a picnic meal. More information: (360) 342.5380.

Vancouver

  • Marshall Community Center, 1009 McLoughlin Blvd., 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: (360) 487-7100
  • Firstenburg Community Center, 700 N.E. 136th Ave.; 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; Sunday noon-6 p.m.
  • Lobby of Firstenburg Tower at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Pl., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. More information: (360) 514.2000
  • Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: (360) 487.7111

Washougal

  • City of Washougal Municipal Complex
  • City Hall, 1701 C St., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Washougal Library, 1661 C St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
  • Washougal Community Center, 1681 C St., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 4-6 p.m. Friday; 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

Fire District 6, which serves the Hazel Dell, Lakeshore, Felida, Salmon Creek Mt. Vista and fairgrounds areas, also invites people to drop into any station to escape the heat.

Additional information on cooling centers is available at http://cresa911.org/2017/07/31/cooling-center-locations/ and 211info.org/emergency.

Prevent heat-related problems:

  • Drink more water and other nonalcoholic fluids, regardless of your activity level.
  • Limit intake of drinks with caffeine, alcohol or lots of sugar.
  • Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned location. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to one of the locations listed above.
  • Never leave a person, especially a young child, or a pet in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down, temperatures can rise rapidly in parked vehicles.
  • Fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Cool off in the shower or bath or move to an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • For work, check on your co-workers and drink lots of water.
  • Cut down on exercise. Avoid midday exercise and drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses; put on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.

Heat related illnesses:

Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs include: body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit; red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid pulse; throbbing headache; nausea; dizziness; and confusion.

If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1. Place the victim in a bath or cool shower or spray the person with cool water from a garden hose. Do not give the person fluids to drink.

Less severe heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and muscle cramps. Signs are heavy sweating, paleness, weakness, headache and vomiting. Drink nonalcoholic, cool beverages. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last more than an hour.

Keep pets safe

During this week’s extreme temperatures, the best way to keep your dog safe and healthy is to leave him or her at home when you go out, even briefly, Clark County Animal Control and Protection reminds pet owners.

Dogs and cats have no sweat glands to cool them, so leaving a pet alone in a vehicle for even a short time can be life-threatening. Temperatures inside a car can reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit on a mildly warm day, even when the car is parked in the shade and the windows are open slightly.

As the temperature outside goes up, the temperature inside a vehicle becomes dangerous more and more quickly. Heatstroke can lead to brain damage or death in pets in as little as 15 minutes.

In hot weather, metal beds of pickups can be dangerously hot and burn the pads of your dog’s paws.

For your dog’s health and safety, leave him or her at home when you go shopping or run errands. Be sure to leave all pets in a secure location with plenty of drinking water and a shady or cool place to rest. And plan to take your dog for a walk in the cooler morning or evening temperatures.

If you see an animal that is not properly cared for, please call Animal Control at (360) 397.2488.

For more information on pets in hot weather, go to www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_safe_heat_wave.html.

Information provided by Clark County Communications.

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