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Central Texas is simmering under triple-digit temperatures, which could reach as high as 107 degrees on June 20, raising the risk of heat-related illnesses and power outages. 

The 10-day Highland Lakes forecast shows persistent 100-degree days Sunday through Wednesday, June 21, the first day of summer. 

According to the American Red Cross, extreme heat is the most lethal form of severe weather, killing 12,000 Americans each year. Pets are also susceptible and should not be left without a means to cool off for long periods of time.

Red Cross recommendations

  • Never leave children or pets in your vehicle during extreme heat. The inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone, or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning at home, seek out public spaces and businesses that do.
  • Slow down, stay indoors, and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. 
  • Keep your pets inside and out of the heat if possible. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade if they are outdoors.

Signs of heat-related illness

  • cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin
  • heavy sweating
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • weakness

What to do 

If you are experiencing signs of heat exhaustion or tending to someone who is showing symptoms, do the following:

  • If losing consciousness or vomiting, immediately call 9-1-1.
  • Relocate to an air-conditioned or shaded area.
  • Slowly drink cool water.
  • Apply ice or cold towels to the head, neck, groin, wrists, ankles, and underarms.

Signs of heat-related illness in your pet

  • heavy panting and inability to calm down, even when lying down
  • brick-red gum color
  • fast pulse rate
  • inability to get up

Use water to cool your pets and get them immediate veterinary attention if they exhibit signs of heat stroke.