The India Meteorological Department, along with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), is asking all the States to implement Heat Wave Action Plans in view of the growing temperatures across India. The state is already in the grip of severe heat conditions with temperatures crossing 40 degrees centigrade in many districts.
What is a heat wave?
A ‘Heat Wave’ is a period of abnormally high temperatures, when normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40 0 C and the departure from normal is 40 C to 50 C and severe Heat Wave departure from normal is 6 0 C or more.
Thanks to global warming , this increase in temperature is occurring across continents. In India, the rising deaths due to heat stroke are an indictment of the public policy failure to take solid steps in prevention and treatment of heat exhaustion. The few personal precautions to be taken to survive the severe summer are listed here.
Measures to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke(NDMA)
- Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m.
- Drink sufficient water and as often as possible, even if not thirsty
- Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective goggles, umbrella/hat, shoes or chappals while going out in sun.
- Avoid strenuous activities when the outside temperature is high. Avoid working outside between 12 noon and 3 p.m.
- While travelling, carry water with you.
- Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks, which dehydrates the body.
- Avoid high-protein food and do not eat stale food.
- If you work outside, use a hat or an umbrella and also use a damp cloth on your head, neck, face and limbs
- Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles
- If you feel faint or ill, see a doctor immediately.
- Use ORS, homemade drinks like lassi, rice water, lemon water, buttermilk, etc. which helps to re-hydrate the body.
- Keep animals in shade and give them plenty of water to drink.
- Keep your home cool, use curtains, shutters or sunshade and open windows at night.
- Use fans, damp clothing and take bath in cold water frequently.