Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
Indianapolis - The Division of Homeland Security was joined by the Marion County Public Health Department, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Citizens Water, and the Indianapolis Power & Light Company to urge resident to take precautions during this period of heat and drought conditions. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will soar into the upper 90s tomorrow and heat index will max out around 105 degrees.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security Director Joe Wainscott began by talking about the drought conditions throughout the State. Currently 32 counties in Indiana have a water shortage warning. Director Wainscott stated current State water shortage warnings ask for a 10-15% percent conservation. According to Sarah Holsapple spokeswoman for Citizens Water, "The water ban in Indianapolis is working and we appreciate your conservation efforts."
The very hot conditions expected through the week will create potentially hazardous conditions, especially for those vulnerable to heat illnesses. "People assume it's okay to be outside when they see it's cloudy, but it's so critical to look at the temperature. We definitely cannot let our guard down," said Dr. Virginia A. Caine, Marion County Public Health Department Director. "When you start having changes in your mental health such as slurred speech, you really need to call 911 immediately. It is life threatening." Vulnerable populations include the elderly, children, those with chronic health conditions, and outdoor workers. Check your car's back seat to make sure young children and pets are not left in vehicles.
Employers should take precautions needed to protect outdoor workers. "It is a dangerous time out there, please regulate outside activities," said Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons. "This threat is significant. We need people to be vigilant and check on vulnerable neighbors twice a day." Reschedule outside activities to early morning or evening with frequent rest breaks in air conditioned buildings. We are also encouraging the use of a buddy system when working in intense heat.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur even when it is cloudy outside. Do not be fooled by clouds. Make sure you wear light weight and loose fitting clothing and drink plenty of water. Signs of a heat illness include flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, changes in consciousness, and shallow breathing.
The Division of Homeland Security will be constantly monitoring the situation with our partners at the Marion County Health Department (MCHD), Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS), National Weather Service (NWS), Indianapolis Power & Light, and Citizens Water. IPL Vice President of Public Affairs Greg Fenning shared some important information. "Our system is performing well. Our generators are producing ample power for all our customers. We recommend that people turn off lights that are not being used, as lights do create heat. We also recommend that people use microwave ovens instead of conventional ovens to lessen heat production in the house."Indianapolis' Extreme Temperature Plan continues to be in motion during this heat wave.
Attached is a list of aquatic centers, spray parks, and park facilities available throughout the city that offer options for residents to stay cool and avoid heat.