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Officials issue heat advisory

ELKINS — Officials warn that dangerous temperatures are in store in the local area today.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for much of West Virginia today, with a heat advisory for areas in the mountains, such as our region.

“The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” the National Weather Service states. “High temperatures may warm into the mid 90s with heat indices (‘feels like’ temps) in the 100s.

The NWS forecast for the Elkins area calls for a high temperature in the 90s for the second straight day. The forecast says the low temperature for today will be 70.

The NWS also offers tips for heat safety during the high temperatures:

• On job sites: Stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible.

• Outdoors: Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated.

• Vehicles: Never leave children or pets unattended: “Look before you lock.”

• Indoors: Check up on the elderly, sick and those without air conditioning.

Also offered by the NWS is advice for responding to excessive heat events:

• Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.

• Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.

• Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.

• Drink plenty of water (not very cold), non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you on a fluid restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids.

• Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.

• Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.

• Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.

• Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.

• Take a cool bath or shower.

• Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

• Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat. Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia. Keep your children, disabled adults, and pets safe during tumultuous heat waves.

• Don’t leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cell phones and gps units, sitting in hot cars.

• Make sure rooms are well vented if you are using volatile chemicals.

The NWS calls for a high of 88 on Sunday, with a 30% chance of thunderstorms.