Authorities urging Michigan citizens to prepare for extreme heat

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W Mich sunset Ron Topping

With heat index readings expected to be nearly 100 degrees in the southern Lower Peninsula on Saturday, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is urging citizens to stay protected during the extreme heat.

The forecast for Midland for Saturday calls for an actual high of 90 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday. The heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the temperature human bodies perceive it to be.

“Extreme heat has the ability to be life-threatening,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “By taking the proper precautions, you can minimize your risk of heat-related illness and stand ready to assist those who are most affected by severe heat.”

To prepare for extreme heat:

• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, blinds or awnings to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home.

• Install central air conditioning or window air conditioners; insulate if necessary.

• Listen to local weather forecasts to stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.

• Check on family members or neighbors who are elderly, young, sick or overweight, as they are more susceptible to excessive heat.

• Ensure pets have cool housing areas and plenty of water.

• Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, battery-powered or hand crank weather radio, and items that satisfy unique family needs.

To prevent heat illness:

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

• Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks because they cause dehydration.

• Wear clothing that allows good air circulation.

• Limit vigorous activity.

• Try to schedule outdoor activities during the morning or evening hours to avoid the hottest part of the day.

• If outside, avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade.

• Use air conditioning whenever possible. If you do not have air conditioning, consider going to a public location or cooling center that does.

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