Memphians attempt to beat the heat during extended advisory - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphians attempt to beat the heat during extended advisory

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

With dangerous temperatures in Memphis this week, doctors have important warnings if you work or do outdoor activities in the heat.

Monday, the Mid-South was under an extended heat advisory.

The City of Memphis arranged transportation and opened cooling centers for residents to beat the heat.

According to the Shelby County Health Department, heat related deaths are down from a spike in 2010 when 21 people died, to just one in 2014.

“This is a dangerous condition, especially for people who may not have access to air conditioning," said Dale Lane, Director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. "It’s important to check on the elderly and others who live alone. Extra care should also be given to pets to make sure they stay cool and have plenty of water."

Joyce Wilborn is a cyclist who enjoys her time out on the Shelby Farms Greenline, and most days rides the entire six and a half mile course.

"I’m aware of the heat and I have to protect myself," said Wilborn.

Wilborn said she drinks water and pays attention when her body tells her to stop.

Dr. Mark Castellaw with Baptist Medical Group warns that those who take blood pressure, heart, lung, and diabetic medicines are most vulnerable to heat stroke and other illnesses.

"Partly because those medicines will predispose you to be unable to get rid of that excess heat," said Castellaw. "Be careful, go out at the right time of the morning or late evening, hydration, hydration, hydration."

Castellaw suggested cutting the time you spend outside in half.

"If you are usually outside for an hour, you’d better cut it back to 30 minutes," he said.

For those who work in the extreme temperatures, Dr. Castellaw advised frequent breaks.

"See if you can find a bit of shade to get out of the direct sunlight; it can make a world of difference." he said.

All community centers in Memphis currently serve as cooling centers during business hours. 

The Orange Mound Community will serve as an after-hours location open until 8pm.

To arrange transportation call MATA at 901-636-2525.

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