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07/01/2016: Disaster Management Plan on Heat Wave
07 January 2016
With the anticipated extreme temperatures reaching the maximum on 430C on the 07 and 08 January 2016 affecting some parts of Johannesburg as issued by the South African Weather Service. The City of Johannesburg Disaster Management Centre is disseminating information on action guide regarding the heat wave protection. 

ACTION GUIDE: HEAT WAVE PROTECTION

Heat wave is a natural hazard that can cause extensive damage to infrastructure (such as roads, electrical equipment, etc.), livestock/crop and heat stress (hyperthermia) on humans that can lead to possible stress death.

TREATMENT FOR HEAT STRESS

  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, porous natural fibre clothing and avoid strenuous activities.
  • Drink 2 to 3 litres of water per day, even if not thirsty.
  • Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated or carbonated (soft) drinks.
  • Don’t take salt tablets - unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  • Keep your home cool with curtains, shutters, or awnings on the sunny side and open windows at night.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, use fans, shades, damp clothing and have a cool showers.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Wear a hat and sunscreen products as sunburn lights may affect sight ability.
  • Don’t leave children or pets in parked vehicles.
  • If you suffer from chronic illness or feel ill, seek medical attention.
  • Keep domestic animals and pets under the shade with plenty of water.

SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR

HEAT STROKE (Hyperthermia)

HEAT EXHAUSTION

UNUSUAL DISCOMFORT AND HEAT CRAMPS

  • Confusion, headaches, nausea, dizziness.
  • Skin flushed and unusually dry.
  • Dry swollen tongue, high blood temperature (40C).
  • Rapid strong pulse at first then weaker.
  • Deep unconsciousness may develop rapidly.
  • Profuse sweating. Cold clammy, pale skin.
  • Fatigue, weakness and restlessness.
  • Headaches and vomiting.
  • Weak but rapid pulse.
  • Poor co-ordination.
  • Normal temperature but faintness.
  • Heavy sweating, tired and thirsty.
  • Irritability, loss of appetite.
  • Prickly heat rash, nausea.
  • Muscle spasms/twitching, moist cool skin.
  • Painful muscle cramps (limbs and abdomen).

Seek urgent medical assistance. In the meantime lay the victim in a cool place and remove outer clothing. If unconscious, check airway and breathing. Cool victim quickly applying cold water or wrap in a wet sheet and fan them (keep wet). When conscious give sips of water.

Seek urgent medical assistance. Lay victim down in a cool place. Loosen clothing and apply wet cloths to heart and body. Fan or move victim to an air conditioned area. Give sips of cold water. If vomiting continues, seek medical assistance immediately.

Drink more water. Have a cold shower/bath. Lie in a cool place with legs supported and slightly elevated. Massage muscles gently to ease spasms, or if cramped, then apply ice packs and drink glucose (eg cordial). Don’t have salt.

For enquiries please contact:

The City of Johannesburg Disaster Management Centre on (011) 286-6002/9 during working hours.

For life threatening Emergencies please contact:
(011) 375-5911
10177 (from landline)
112 (from cell phone) 

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Last Updated on 07 January 2016