The National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the City of St. Louis. The warning remains in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday, July 29. The St. Louis region continues to experience dangerously hot conditions, with heat index values expected as high as 110 degrees. These temperatures and high humidity will increase the chance of someone suffering from a heat-related illness.
“The heat outside can become dangerous quickly, especially for our high-risk residents,” said Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis. “We ask everyone to please take the necessary steps to protect themselves by avoiding outside activities during the mid-afternoon when it is hottest, staying hydrated by drinking water and checking on friends and family who may need help staying cool.” Without precautions, the predicted dangerously high temperatures and humidity could quickly cause heat stress or heat stroke. The very young, the elderly, those without air conditioning, and those participating in strenuous outdoor activities will be most susceptible. Also, car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
“The heat right now is expected to last into next week, and we want all residents and city visitors to stay up-to-date with the extreme heat,” said Sarah Russell, Commissioner for the City Emergency Management Agency. “We ask everyone in St. Louis to sign up for the city’s free notification system to stay up-to-date with the heat and future potential emergencies.” Anyone can sign up through the city’s NotifySTL website.
“Our unhoused neighbors are especially vulnerable during extreme temperatures,” said Adam Pearson, Director of the Department of Human Services. “The outreach team at DHS will be out engaging with unhoused residents to provide water and connect them to available cooling centers and additional resources.”
Heat-Related Health and Safety Tips for People
- Avoid poorly ventilated areas and prolonged work in the sun.
- Keep plenty of fluids on hand and stay inside, or take frequent breaks in an air- conditioned environment.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
- Never leave children unattended in a vehicle. Check the backseat before exiting. During extreme heat, vehicle temperatures can reach lethal levels in minutes.
- Routinely check on family members, neighbors, the elderly, the chronically ill, and friends. If they have air conditioning available, encourage them to use it.
- Replace salt and minerals: heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- If you are on a low-salt diet, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
Heat-Related Health and Safety Tips for Pets
- In extreme heat, it is important that pets are in an air-conditioned environment.
- Never leave pets alone in a vehicle. If you see a pet in an unattended vehicle, call 911.
- Watch for coolant leaking from your vehicle. A pet drinking just a small amount can cause death.
- Do not force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Limit exercise to the early morning or evening hours.
- Never leave your pet standing on asphalt surfaces, as they can burn their paws.
Heat-Related Services Available for Residents
- Cooldown St. Louis is helping area seniors and people with physical disabilities who qualify for new air-conditioning units and utilities this summer. Low-to-moderate-income households may also seek utility assistance through CoolDownStlouis.org. Seniors may call the automated hotline at 314-241-0001 or 314-657-1599 for assistance. To be considered for an air conditioner, seniors or individuals with physical disabilities must not have a working air conditioner.
- For cooling site information, visit the City of St. Louis Cooling Centers website, or contact the United Way of Greater St. Louis Information Referral Line at 1-800-427- 4626 or dial 2-1-1 if calling from a landline. For mobile outreach, please call the St. Patrick’s Center at 314-561-0278.
- For help with a serious heat-related illness, call 911.
- Immediately report animals in distress to the City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control division at 314-657-1500 during regular business hours. During evenings and weekends, call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-231-1212.
- Additional tips on child safety and child injury prevention can be found at http://www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/heatstroke.
- Additional tips on safety related to extreme heat can be found on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/.