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HFD engineer shares tips to stay safe in the heat

Multiple Pine Belt counties under excessive heat warnings through the weekend
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Temperatures are predicted to stay high through the weekend and multiple Pine Belt counties are under heat warnings.

Forrest, Lamar and Covington counties are under an Excessive Heat Warning until 7 p.m. Saturday. That means heat index values up to 115 degrees are expected. The rest of the Pine Belt is under a heat watch through Friday.

One engineer with the Hattiesburg Fire Department at one of the city’s “Splash Days” shared tips to stay safe in the heat.

“The best tip is to just keep as much water as you can,” said HFD engineer Thomas McMahan, “I know some kids are real picky they don’t want to drink water, but if they can drink Powerade, maybe even Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid is good too.”

“Popsicles, I know they have Pedialyte popsicles, that’s really good. It’s a great way to cool off and it’s kind of a treat too. “The kids come running up, give them a Pedialyte popsicle. It’s a great way to hydrate up.”

Many people’s jobs do not stop during the heat.

For those working in construction or landscaping, McMahan says there are some safety precautions to take.

“Those people out there might not be near shade or a building with AC, but what they can do is get their car or truck running 10 minutes before a break so they can take a break in the AC and drink some water and sit down,” McMahan said.

McMahan says a great way to beat the heat is at the pool or using a sprinkler to cool off. He just reminds people to take breaks and hydrate even when spending time in the water.

“If you’re going to have to do any kind of yard work, stuff like that, try as best you can, try to take breaks often, get in the shade often,” said McMahan. “Take a cool water break, stuff like that as best you can, if you need to sit down and relax for a second in the shade. Go in the air conditioning if you have it. Try to go early morning before peak times during the day or real late in the afternoon around dinnertime, something like that.”

Some signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion are dizziness, racing pulse, nausea and confusion.

If you see someone suffering from heatstroke, you should call 911 since it is a medical emergency. While waiting for help, you can have the person sit in the shade or AC and use a cold wet cloth on their neck to cool down.

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