North Texas Daily

5 local resources and tips for safety during a heat wave

5 local resources and tips for safety during a heat wave

5 local resources and tips for safety during a heat wave
June 24
14:00 2022

As an ongoing heat wave hovers over the southern United States, citizens are beginning to feel its effects. Here are resources and tips to remain safe when the temperature hits extreme highs.

Communication resources

Dentonites can register to receive emergency communications through Alert Denton, a mass notification service powered through Everbridge. The service provides notifications to registrants’ email or phone number regarding potential safety hazards and concerns.

Denton Municipal Electric, the city’s exclusive electricity provider, provides emergency updates through the company’s Twitter account, @dmepower. To report a power outage, residents should call (940) 349-7000. Residents can also view power outages in the area through DME’s outage map, which shows where the outage is happening and how many customers are affected.

Cooling stations

During inclement weather designated facilities in Denton are available as cooling stations. The stations have restrooms, sitting areas and water fountains available.

Two of the designated facilities, Our Daily Bread Monsignor King Outreach Center and Salvation Army Denton, have meals and overnight shelter available. Our Daily Bread is located at 300 W. Oak St. Ste. 100 and can be reached at (940) 382-5604. Salvation Army Denton is located at 1508 E. McKinney St. and can be reached at (940) 566-3800.

Opening and closing times for each facility, as well as additional information, can be found on the City of Denton’s extreme temperatures webpage.

Preparation for power outages

The American Red Cross recommends stocking up on water, nonperishable food and essential medications.

Ready Denton, part of the city’s emergency and disaster preparedness division, recommends charging all mobile devices and investing in a portable charger.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees 90 percent of Texas’ power supply, has recommended Texans conserve power during hot weather. ERCOT encourages residents to set “their thermostats to 78 degrees or above and avoid the usage of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers)” between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

More tips for power outage preparedness can be found in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s power outage guide.

In the event of a power outage

The FEMA recommends keeping freezers and refrigerators closed and disconnecting appliances and electronics to avoid electrical surge damage.

Refrigerators will keep food cold for approximately four hours and freezers will keep their temperature for approximately 48 hours, according to FEMA’s power outage guide. Residents are recommended to monitor temperatures and throw away food exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees for more than two hours.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, FEMA advises against using gas stovetops and encourages the use of generators and grills outdoors only.

To keep cool, the Red Cross recommends residents cover their windows with drapes or shades and suggests the use of window reflectors or cardboard covered in aluminum foil.

Heat-related illness prevention

During abnormally hot weather, drink at least three-fourths of a gallon of water throughout the day. Drinking at short intervals is the most effective form of hydration. The Red Cross recommends eating regularly and avoiding sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.

The Red Cross also recommends checking on children and at-risk adults regularly and learning the signs of heat-related illnesses. If someone is suspected of having a heat-related illness, move the individual to a cool, safe place and have them sip water. If the individual’s temperature is 104 degrees or above, call 911 immediately and do not give them anything to drink.

A full list of symptoms and additional resources can be found on the Red Cross website.

Featured Image: A car display shows the outside temperature of Denton, Texas on June 21, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Madeleine Moore

Madeleine Moore

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