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DE DPH Advises Residents to Prepare for Dangerously High Temperatures This Week

As many Delawareans head outside for Fourth of July festivities, the Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages Delaware residents to prepare for extreme heat early this week and prevent heat-related illness as temperatures rise. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s through Tuesday, with the heat index values as high as 105 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for New Castle County through 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, and a Heat Advisory for Kent County and inland Sussex County through 8 p.m., Monday, July 2.
Our bodies have less chance to recover during hot days and warm nights, placing everyone at risk for heat-related illness. When temperatures and humidity are high, sweat ceases to evaporate and the body's natural cooling system slows down or shuts down completely. Hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe respiratory conditions, which can be fatal.

Extreme heat is especially dangerous for seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and people with breathing conditions and other chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory problems. Higher temperatures, not even in the extreme, have also been associated with higher levels of inflammation in patients with preexisting heart health conditions. Also at risk are people without access to air conditioning, fans, or cooling shelters.

DPH suggests that every household make a heat wave plan in case of a power outage. Air conditioners should be serviced and electric fans should be obtained before the heat rises to dangerous levels. Residents should keep cases of bottled water on hand and listen to local news reports for the locations of community "cooling centers," which are often public libraries or churches. During days of extreme heat, Delawareans should check on vulnerable members of their families and neighbors, including seniors and those with access and functional needs.
For those who may need additional assistance, Delaware 2-1-1 connects Delawareans with critical services and support. Eligible callers can receive referrals to crisis assistance, and nearby cooling centers. Read more.