PEMA Provides Safety Reminders in Advance of Extreme Heat Wave

Pennsylvanians are Urged to take the upcoming heat wave seriously and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“The National Weather Service expects record-breaking temperatures in parts of Pennsylvania over the next week,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “It’s critically important for Pennsylvanians to keep an eye out for and take care of each other.”

The Department of Health stresses the importance of hydrating in the heat and limiting unnecessary physical activity.

“Protecting yourself from heat-related illnesses during a heat wave is crucial as prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which can be life-threatening,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “Typical symptoms of heat-related illness include headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, thirst, and irritability. During a heat wave, residents should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, seeking shade or air-conditioned spaces during the hottest parts of the day, and wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing to help regulate body temperature. Taking these precautions can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and ensure a safer and more enjoyable summer.”

For additional information on how to prevent heat-related illnesses or identify heat-related symptoms, visit the Department of Health’s webpage. Older adults are especially susceptible to the intense heat.

“We should all take the necessary steps to keep cool during extreme heat, especially older adults who are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses or more. They may not have access to fans, air conditioners, or may have limited mobility to get relief from the heat, so it’s important that all of us check on our older family members, neighbors and friends to make sure they have what they need to stay cool,” said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich. “Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging are a great local resource for older adults to learn about senior community centers acting as cooling stations in their neighborhood and other ways to beat the heat. We urge older adults to also check with their local municipality to discover any libraries, churches or other facilities that are welcoming people to keep cool.”

Older adults can visit the Department of Aging’s website to find their local Area Agency on Aging.

Farmers and pet owners should also be mindful of heat-related dangers.

“When temperatures climb, animals are also at risk for heat stress,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Whether you are a farmer or a pet owner, make sure your animals have access to shade and plenty of clean, cool water.”

Secretary Redding provided additional tips to keep pets and livestock safe:

  • Never leave pets in a hot car. They can suffocate in minutes.
  • Walk dogs in early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler.
  • Provide shade – move animals to shaded areas if possible.
  • Provide water – as temperatures rise, animals need to drink more water.
  • Provide fans for air movement where animals are housed. Fans and sprinklers work together for quicker, more effective cooling.
  • Avoid overworking livestock – it’s safest to work livestock early in the morning when their body temperatures are lower.
  • Save routine animal care that can be stressful — such as nail- or hoof-trimming — until the weather cools.
  • Avoid unnecessary transportation. If livestock must be moved, do so in the late evening or early morning.