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Oklahoma City shelters, emergency workers gear up for hot Memorial Day weekend

Emergency workers and shelters are warning Oklahomans to be wary of high temperatures over the Memorial Day weekend. Highs are expected to reach 93, with a slight chance of rain Monday.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY Published: May 25, 2012

The forecast for central Oklahoma calls for hot weather and the outdoor dangers that go along with it, experts said.

The high temperature will be near 93 degrees Friday, with a heat index of 100 degrees, the National Weather Service reported.

Paramedics are prepared to respond to a large number of heat-related illnesses and medical emergencies around lakes and swimming pools, said Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman.

“Any time you have more people heading to the lake or the swimming pool, there is more potential for danger,” O'Leary said. “You want people to have fun, but nothing can ruin a weekend more than a trip to the emergency room.”

O'Leary urged people to take precautions in the heat. Drink plenty of liquids before working or playing outside, but avoid alcohol and drinks with a lot of sugar, she said.

Call 911 if anyone is suffering from heat stroke, O'Leary said. Then move the person out of direct sunlight into shade or cool them with water until paramedics arrive.

“There will be an increase in the call volume over the Memorial Day weekend,” O'Leary said. “This is kind of a test run for summer fun.”

Need rises with heat

As summer nears, the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma is preparing to help people keep cool, spokeswoman Heide Brandes said.

Last summer the organization helped more than 139,000 people, and officials anticipate more will be in need this summer.

“We are concerned that we won't be able to help people arriving at our door through the summer,” said Maj. Dan Proctor, area commander. “The Salvation Army has always relied on the generosity of local residents to help us do our work, and we are making a special plea at this time for support.”

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