Heat alerts are in effect for millions of Americans from California to Florida as a deadly heat wave continues to grip the country.
The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and heat advisories for much of the South and Southwest, with temperatures forecast to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in some areas.
In Texas, at least 11 people have died in the heat wave, and officials are warning residents to take precautions to stay safe.
“These are unprecedented temperatures,” Webb County, Texas, medical examiner Corine Stern said this week. “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
The heat wave is also causing problems in other parts of the country. In California, power demand is expected to reach record highs this weekend, and officials are urging residents to conserve energy.
In Florida, the heat index is expected to reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas, posing a serious threat to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Officials are urging residents to stay hydrated, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day, and check on their neighbors.
Here are some tips for staying safe during a heat wave:
* Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
* Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day.
* If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and a hat.
* Take cool showers or baths.
* Stay in an air-conditioned room or building if possible.
* Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
If you experience heat exhaustion, symptoms may include:
* Heavy sweating
If you experience heat stroke, symptoms may include:
* A high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
* Hot, dry skin
* Rapid breathing
* Rapid heartbeat
If you think you or someone you know may be experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 immediately.