Tulsa Weather Coalition Provides Help In Excessive Heat

Thursday, June 25th 2009, 11:00 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK--With an excessive heat advisory in effect through 7 p.m. Saturday for many Oklahoma counties, Green Country residents should takes steps to keep cool. The effects of excessive heat add up, so as the number of hot days increase, precautions are also increasingly important.

With the addition of high humidity, heat related illnesses are even more likely. Since June 1, EMSA has treated 45 patients with suspected heat-related illness, according to EMSA Vice President Tina Wells. That's nearly half the number of heat-related calls to which EMSA responded in all of 2008. Ages of patients treated so far range from one month to 82 years.

The Tulsa Weather Coalition can help the medically fragile borrow air conditioners to beat the effects of Tulsa's heat.

"This heat has been rough on everyone," said Doug Griesenauer of Tulsa Weather Coalition. "We're extremely flooded because of the recent early heat, but we try to get back to people as soon as possible."

Applicants must meet four criteria:

  • Must live in Tulsa County
  • Have no form of air conditioning in the home
  • Demonstrate the economic need for help
  • Have a medical conditioning that heat makes life-threatening

Qualified applicants should call 918-295-1254 to start the process.

"Once they turn in an application and a doctor's note, we look over it and if they qualify we set up an appointment for an install," said Griesenauer/

But the group is limited in its scope and is not set up for immediate assistance. If an individual needs emergency assistance, Griesenauer recommends going to a hospital or community shelter.

EMSA offers the following precautions for surviving the excessive heat:

  • Reduce outdoor activity, particularly during the late morning and afternoon hours.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, and up your water intake.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Spend as much time as possible in an air-conditioned environment; visit a library, indoor shopping mall, community center or other such venue if you don't have air-conditioning at home.
  • Play close attention to those at increased risk for heat-related illness, including young children (under age 4), senior citizens, people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure, and outdoor laborers.
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle.

Temperatures inside a closed, parked vehicle can quickly reach over 150 degrees, resulting in heat stroke and death.

Make sure all pets have plenty of water, and that outdoor pets have a shady place to rest.