Dangerous heat forecast through Monday

TALLAHASSEE – State and local emergency management officials strongly urging residentsand visitors to the Sunshine State to use caution as afternoon temperatures climb over 100degrees.

The weekend forecast temperatures are in the 99 -105 degree range with heat indicesof 105 -115 degrees in many inland areas of the state through Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for the entire Florida Panhandle andBig Bend due to extremely dangerous heat indices. These advisories will likely be extendedacross the rest of north and central Florida this weekend. These high heat index values areexpected to persist for several hours each day.

“I urge Floridians and our guests to be extremely cautious of this blistering forecast. Follow heatsafety tips to keep your family, friends and pets safe on this holiday weekend,” said Ruben D.Almaguer, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Heat Safety Tips:

• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflectaway some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear a hat or to use anumbrella.

• Avoid overexposure to the sun. Sunburn makes the body’s job of heat dissipation thatmuch more difficult.

• Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feelthirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

• Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increasemetabolic heat.

• Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do itduring the coolest part of the day – morning hours between 4 and 7 a.m.

• Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floorout of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate theair.

• Be a good neighbor. Check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those whodo not have air conditioning.

• Don’t forget your pets. Make sure they have access to water, ventilation and shade.