Will County residents urged to take precautions in heat wave

Highs of 94 degrees expected nearly every day this week

The Will County Emergency Management Agency advises residents to take precautions against the heat with a 90-plus temperatures expected to continue throughout this week.

The National Weather Service has forecast high temperatures higher than 90 degrees through at least Saturday. The forecast calls for highs of 94 every day except Tuesday, when the high is expected at 93.

“With high temperatures expected, I urge all residents to take steps to stay cool and be aware of the signs of overheating and dehydration,” Will County EMA Director Allison J. Anderson said in a news release.

Prolonged physical activity and exposure to heat under the temperatures in the forecast can lead to heatstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion, according to the release.

Cooling centers are available in almost every community in the county. Typical sites include village halls, fire stations, libraries and other public meeting sites. A list of cooling centers is available on the Will County EMA website at willcountyema.org/warmingcooling.

Residents are advised to call locations before going to ensure that they are available as cooling centers.

The county listed signs and symptoms of heat illnesses provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Heat cramps: painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in the legs and abdomen; heavy sweating

Heat exhaustion: heavy sweating; weakness or tiredness; cool, pale, clammy skin; fast or weak pulse; muscle cramps; dizziness, nausea or vomiting; headaches; fainting

Heatstroke: throbbing headache; confusion; dizziness; body temperature above 103 degrees; hot, red, dry or damp skin; rapid and strong pulse; fainting and loss of consciousness

Advice to residents

• Avoid strenuous activity during midday.

• Limit direct sunlight outside and inside.

• Hydrate with water, not caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

• Use awnings or curtains to deflect the sun.

• Use pools, splash pads or sprinklers to lower body temperature.

• Use air conditioning or visit places with air conditioning, as fans move air around but do not lower body temperature.

• Check with relatives and neighbors to ensure they have access to air conditioning.

• Never leave children or pets in a vehicle.