- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 30 June 2017
Be informed, make a plan, build a kit, get involved
Summer is here. As we prepare to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to take precautions in case extreme heat strikes.
By evaluating your needs, you can plan for any heat-related situation.
The following steps will prepare you to handle periods of extreme heat and the associated risks.
Stay in power
Consider how potential power outages during periods of extreme heat might affect you. Plan to be temporarily self-sufficient if the electricity goes out. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or a pharmacy.
Identify the resources you use on a daily basis and what you can do if they are limited or not available. Make provisions for medications that require refrigeration, and plan arrangements to get to a cooling center, if needed.
Think about what you need to maintain your health, safety, and independence. Build a kit that includes any specialized items such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, and medication. Also include non-perishable food and water, items for service animals and pets, a cooler, and anything else you might need. Learn more about creating your kit at www.ready.gov/build-a-kit or give LifePath a call at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 with questions and for more information.
Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially those who spend much of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.
Be watchful for signs of heat stroke and dehydration. These include shallow breathing, a lack of perspiration, dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.
The HHS emPOWER Map 2.0 (located online at empowermap.hhs.gov) features the monthly total of Medicare beneficiaries with electricity-dependent equipment claims at the U.S. state, territory, county, and zip code level to identify the areas and populations that may be impacted and at risk for prolonged power outages.
Information for this article includes text from a May 2017 notice from the Administration for Community Living (ACL).