As high temperatures in the 100-degree range settle in across Brown County through at least the first of next week, health officials are discouraging outdoor activities during afternoons while urging other precautions.
The National Weather Service forecast for Brownwood shows high temperatures of 99 or 100 through Monday, with some relief — a high of 94 — expected on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the chance of rain — limited to possible thundershowers mostly north of Interstate 20 — is almost non-existent.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Management on Wednesday directed Texans to a fact sheet prepared by the Texas Department of State Health Services that emphasizes how periods of high heat can create serious health problems. Those most affected include the elderly, the very young, the sick and anyone without access to air-conditioning.
Symptoms of heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak but rapid pulse, and headaches. People with these symptoms should find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation.
If fluids are not replaced soon enough, heat stroke can follow causing extremely high body temperature, red and dry skin, rapid pulse, confusion, brain damage, loss of consciousness and death. To help a person showing severe symptoms, get the victim into shade, call for emergency medical services and start cooling the person immediately with cool water or by fanning.
Staying in an air-conditioned area, either at home or in a public place such as a mall, library or recreation center, is the most effective way to combat heat.
The following tips were also provided by the state health department:
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle during hot weather, even for a short time.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid beverages with caffeine, lots of sugar or alcohol.
• Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. When planning to work outside, do it early in the morning or in the evening, during the cooler hours of the day. Take frequent breaks when working outside.
• Wear sun block, a hat and loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight, and help your body maintain normal temperatures.
• Remember that sunburn makes the body’s job of keeping cool more difficult.
• Check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat in combination with prescription drugs, especially diuretics or antihistamines.
• Stay indoors as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on the lowest floor of a building out of the sun. Use electric fans because they help sweat to evaporate, which cools your body.
• Eat smaller, well balanced meals, but eat more often.
• Check on the elderly, children, and those who are ill or have special health care needs. All are vulnerable to excessive heat.
• Make sure pets are provided with plenty of water and shade.
Other weather and emergency preparedness resources can be found at the Department of State Health Services Heat Precautions Web page,
or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org or www.ready.gov.