CONCORD, NH – With the high temperatures and excessive humidity expected in the State (Thursday, August 11 through at least Saturday, August 13), the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reminds people to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory and air quality alerts for today and tomorrow for most of the State.
“Health problems such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke can happen quickly, and we recommend that people take precautions before they begin to notice symptoms of such heat-related illnesses,” said DHHS Acting Public Health Director Marcella Bobinsky, “People with health issues, such as seniors, young children, and those with heart or lung conditions, are most at risk. Excessive heat is not very common in New Hampshire so we remind everyone to take precautions and avoid excessive heat exposure.”
The DHHS Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is working with communities across the State to identify cooling centers where people can go to escape the extremely hot weather. Everyone should limit their time outside, stay hydrated (water is best), avoid hard physical labor or exercise as much as possible, especially during the hottest part of the day, wear light-weight clothing, and seek medical help if you begin to feel ill.
When the body is unable to cool itself sufficiently by sweating, the body temperature rises and people begin to experience symptoms indicating distress. Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and/or fatigue are symptoms of heat exhaustion, which generally occurs when people exercise or work in hot, humid conditions and body fluids are lost too rapidly. If the person does not take action, with cool beverages, seeking air conditioning, rest, and removing heavy clothing, heat stroke can result.
The symptoms of heat stroke include red skin that is hot to the touch; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. The body temperature may rise dramatically and the patient’s skin may feel dry. If someone is experiencing heat stroke, they should be moved to a cool place and be cooled down with water if possible, and emergency medical help should be called immediately because heat stroke can be life threatening.
The city has two cooling stations available:
Manchester City Library, 405 Pine St., Manchester
Monday, Thursday, and Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday: 9:30 AM – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center, 151 Douglas St. Manchester
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The full list of cooling centers is available at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/tips/index.htm and will be updated as needed. For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov. For more information visit the National Weather Service website at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/. For questions related to air quality and the heat, contact the Department of Environmental Services at 603-271-1370 or visit www.airquality.nh.gov. For concerns about your health or someone else’s during excessive heat, contact your healthcare provider or call 911 for emergency assistance.