DES MOINES — The American Red Cross is supporting county health departments and emergency managers across Iowa with requests for assistance due to the dangerous excessive heat.
The following are heat safety steps the Red Cross encourages Iowans to follow in the upcoming days:
• Never leave children or pets in the car. The inside temperature can quickly reach 120 degrees.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
• If someone doesn't have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).