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Tips For Protecting Your Health In Summer Heat

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Heat stroke can be deadly and can strike anyone, even if you're in good shape. Heat stroke can be deadly and can strike anyone, even if you're in good shape.
Ron Phelps suffered heat stroke in 1999 and he's still dealing with the fallout. Ron Phelps suffered heat stroke in 1999 and he's still dealing with the fallout.
The Tulsa Weather Coalition loans window air conditioning units to low-income residents with health conditions that prevent them from going somewhere to cool off. The Tulsa Weather Coalition loans window air conditioning units to low-income residents with health conditions that prevent them from going somewhere to cool off.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Friday, EMSA issued its second medical heat alert of the year for the Tulsa area, saying medics responded to five heat-related illness calls in less than 24 hours.

EMSA says all five patients, aged 25 to 62, were transported to local hospitals in fair condition.

Heat stroke can be deadly and can strike anyone, even if you're in good shape.

Ron Phelps knows about that all too well.

"I still have to watch it--more fluids, more time in the cool, that type of thing," Phelps said.

Phelps suffered heat stroke in 1999 and he's still dealing with the fallout. He spent three days in the hospital and it was more than three years before he was able to spend time in the sun.

6/13/2013 Related Story: EMSA Issues First Heat Alert Of 2013 For Tulsa Area

"As the days and weeks go by, your body is just so pained," he said. "I hurt from head to toe--just so many aches and pains that come with it."

In the last week, we've seen temperatures jump dramatically in Tulsa and it happens fast.

A bank marquee at 10:52 Friday morning said it was 89 degrees. It was up to 98 degrees not even an hour later.

EMSA says there are things you can do to protect yourself from the hot weather. They suggest you wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, drink a lot of water, even if you're not thirsty, and eat smaller meals, more often during the day. It takes a lot of internal heat for your body to digest a large meal.

Look for these warning signs of heat exhaustion:

• cool or flushed skin
• nausea
• a quick tightening of your muscles.

There are programs to help people avoid the heat. The Tulsa Weather Coalition loans window air conditioning units to low-income residents with health conditions that prevent them from going somewhere to cool off.

6/12/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Weather Coalition Taking Applications For Air Conditioner Loaner Program

"We loan these air conditioners more for health and safety than we do for comfort," said Jim Lyall, with the Tulsa Weather Coalition.

Ron Phelps hopes others learn from him. He was in the best shape of his life and thought he could handle the heat.

"Take it seriously," Phelps said. "It doesn't matter what kind of health that you're in, the heat can get you quick."

The Tulsa Weather Coalition runs entirely on donations and say they're always in need of air conditioners or financial help.

You can call 211 if you want to donate or to see if you're eligible for a loaner A/C.

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