Hurricane Isaac cleanup brings worries of heat stroke

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hurricane victims cleaning up the mess left by Isaac are being warned not to overdo it in this heat. All this week the heat index has been more than 100 degrees. Emergency officials said they're worried about people suffering from heat stroke.

Hurricane Isaac left Homer Jenkins, 62, a big mess at his Hancock County fish camp.

"We had about three feet of water in here and the room in there and the shed out back got all full of mud and mucked up," said Jenkins. When asked about the cleanup, he said "It's been hot and stinky."

The hot weather has emergency officials worried residents who are cleaning up and making storm repairs may be putting themselves in danger of suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Hancock County Emergency Management Director Brian Adam said, "Right now it's very concerning that people are out mucking houses and trying to get their houses cleaned up. With this heat, and it's been hot, we're just concerned that they may start having some heat related issues and not realize it until it's too late. "

Officials said some of the signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, weak pulse, fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches.

"Doesn't matter if you're young or old. Everybody has got limits so you've to got to know them and not overdo it," said Adam. "We don't want to see someone have a heat stroke or get really ill or even die from it."

Here are some of the tips to avoiding overheating.

  • Stay on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.
  • Work alongside a friend during extreme heat.
  • Take frequent breaks.

Adam said, "Take a rest.  You don't have to do everything at one time because it's very hard to work in this heat for a long period of time."

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