Montgomery County issued a hyperthermia alert and activated an extreme heat plan until 7 p.m. Monday.
The hyperthermia alert means that the heat index has reached or will reach 95 degrees or higher, “creating a hazardous situation in which heat-stroke and heat exhaustion are likely,” according to the county website.
The National Weather Service said that the heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is “what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature.”
According to the Weather Channel, the current temperature in the county is 88 degrees accompanied by 52% humidity, making it feel like around 94 degrees.
In a social media post, the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (OEMHS) recommended that residents stay hydrated and take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from heat-related illnesses.
On its website, the county provided safety tips for extremely hot temperatures:
- When possible, stay inside:
- Electric fans are not sufficient to prevent heat-related illness when temperatures reach the high 90s; moving to an air-conditioned location is much more effective.
- Take a cold shower or bath if needed.
- Use your stove and oven less to keep your house temperature low.
- If your home is not air-conditioned, visit nearby buildings with air conditioning, including libraries, swimming pools, recreation centers, senior centers and indoor malls.
- If you need to be outside:
- Avoid strenuous activities that can result in overexposure to the sun, such as sports and gardening
- Wear proper protection from the sun, including light-colored clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Stay hydrated:
- Drink a lot of water
- Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Car safety:
- Never leave pets, young children or the elderly in a vehicle for any amount of time, even with the windows open, because the temperature inside parked cars can reach 130 degrees in only a few minutes
- Monitor high-risk groups, which are:
- Infants and children up to four years of age
- Seniors (65 years of age and older)
- Individuals who are ill or on certain medications
- Individuals who are overweight
- Know the symptoms of heat exposure:
- Heat cramps: Symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs
- Heat exhaustion: First signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness
- Heat stroke: The most serious sign of overexposure. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness. Seek medical attention by calling 911.
The National Weather Service for the Baltimore/Washington region said that on Monday “highs will push into the low to mid 90s with heat index values close to 100. A backdoor cold front arrives with relief late tonight into Tuesday. More heat later this week.”
According to the Weather Channel, Montgomery County will experience a cooler 83-degree day Tuesday, but by Friday, the temperatures will spike back up to at least 92 degrees.