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Summer heat arrives

We knew it was coming and summer South Georgia heat has made its blistering appearance in Screven County.
With temperatures hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit and still climbing since the start of the week, everyone is urged to drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated. Unless it is necessary, it is wise to minimize your time in the blazing sun, especially during the peak temperature hours daily after noon.
The current extended local forecast has more of the same high-octane temperatures and very scarce possibilities for any real breeze to ease the burn. The chance of rain over those days is 40 percent or under over the days.
Sunday, June 21, may be the best bet for a “cool” front as the high is only expected to reach 98.
The temps from Saturday, June 20, to Tuesday, June 23, are projected to be just a shade under triple digits, but June 24 and 25 could have the thermometers see 103.
The heat index for each of these days makes it feel like it is 105 to 110-degree range.
Summer in Georgia traditionally is a time for camping trips, cookouts and afternoons by the pool. However, it’s also a time to be aware of the dangers soaring temperatures can bring. Extreme heat is the No. 2 weather-related killer in the United States after excessive cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Screven County Emergency Management Agency urges Screven County residents to take steps now to beat the heat.
“People most at risk for heat-related illness are seniors, infants and people with circulation problems, but staying indoors and drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and hydrated when temperatures rise,” said Screven County EMA Director Gary Pinard.
To help Georgians prepare, “Ready Georgia,” a statewide emergency preparedness campaign created by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats.
Screven County and “Ready Georgia” give these 10 tips to ensure a safe summer for every family:
1. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
2. Fluids are lost through perspiration, so it’s important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty.
3. Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
4. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
5. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Drink two to four cups of water every hour when you are working outside.
6. Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning.
7. Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
8. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, fatigue, muscle cramps, confusion, cold, pale and clammy skin, a weak rapid pulse, and possible fainting and vomiting. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher. Symptoms include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Summon immediate emergency medical assistance.
9. Insulate your home by installing weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the cool air inside.
10. Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA Weather Radio or download the Ready Georgia app for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.
Visitors to Ready Georgia’s website can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. In addition, the newly upgraded free “Ready Georgia” mobile app provides weather alerts, traffic updates and preparedness information for people on the go.
For more information, contact Screven County EMA at 912-564-2709 or visit www.ready.ga.gov.