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When temperatures are dangerously high, residents are urged to practice heat safety wherever they are. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), heat is typically the leading cause of weather-related fatalities each year. During extremely hot and humid weather, the body's ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness.
Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, and the best thing to do is to avoid being outside for prolonged periods of time during extreme heat, but if that isn’t possible, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exposure to elevated temperatures; taking frequent breaks to avoid overexertion; wearing "breathable" clothing and just listening to your body can help prevent a heat-related emergency. Thirst is an easy way to spot the early onset of dehydration, so if you drink fluids the moment you feel thirsty, you can help avoid a major heat issue such as severe dehydration, heat cramps or heat stroke.
Use the tips below to practice heat safety wherever you are:
Job Sites - Summer weather poses unique hazards for outdoor workers, who are at a higher risk for heat-related emergencies. When working outside under hot conditions, stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible. Knowing symptoms, prevention and emergency response methods can help prevent heat-related illnesses and death.
Vehicles - Never leave children, disabled adults or pets in parked vehicles. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. Always LOOK before you LOCK.
Outdoors - Limit strenuous activities, find shade and stay hydrated. Apply sunscreen liberally and wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight. Hats are also a good idea to protect your face and scalp from harmful UV rays if you will be spending time directly in the sunshine.
Indoors – Check on neighbors who are elderly or sick, or who don’t have air conditioning.
In a normal year, about 175 Americans die from extreme heat, so it’s very important to be aware of the danger that heat poses to your health, and not just assume that it’s something that happens to other people. Below are descriptions of heat-related illnesses:
A condition that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature and can cause death or permanent disability.
- High body temperature
- Loss of coordination
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Throbbing headache
- Seizures, coma
- Request immediate medical assistance
- Move the person to a cool, shaded area
- Remove excess clothing and apply cool water to the body
The body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt, usually through sweating.
- Rapid heart beat
- Heavy sweating
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Nausea, vomiting
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Slightly elevated body temperature
- Rest in a cool area
- Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages
- Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
Affects people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity, which depletes all the body’s salt and moisture levels.
- Muscle cramps, pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs
- Stop all activity and sit in a cool place
- Drink clear juice or a sports beverage, or drink water with food (avoid salt tablets)
- Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after cramps subside
- Seek medical attention if you have the following: heart problems, are on a low sodium diet or if the cramps do not subside within one hour
Flash flooding events have occurred within the City of Greenville. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) provides the following flash flood safety information.
- 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing a loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles, 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUV’s and trucks.
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road, you and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. The depth of water is not always obvious, the road may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle, if the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
- Do not drive around a barricade - barricades are there for your protection - turn around and go the other way.
- Do not try to take short cuts - they may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- Do not walk through moving water. 6 inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving and use a stick to check firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Listen to the radio or television for information or updates.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
- Build an emergency kit for your vehicle in case you do get stranded or need to evacuate quickly.
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
If the tree is from your yard or your neighbors yard (not from right-of-way), you should contact your insurance company.
If the tree fell from the right-of-way into your yard, call Greenville Cares, the City's customer service call center, at 864-232-2273 and provide your name, street address, mailing address (if different) and phone number. They will contact the City's tree crew to inspect.
If a tree or limb is in the right-of-way or in the street, call Greenville Cares at 864-232-2273. During a weather emergency, you may call the Public Works Department directly at 864-467-4335.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Is it blocking the entire street or part of the street?
- Is it blocking the sidewalk?
- What is the closest address?
- AT&T Phone Line Out: 888-757-6500
- Charter Cable Outage: 800-955-7766
- Duke Power Outage: 800-777-9898
- Greenville Water: 864-241-6000
- Greenville Water and Renewable Water Resources: 864-299-4000
- Piedmont Natural Gas: 864-233-7966
- Duke Energy: 1-800-777-9898
- Duke Energy: 1-800-777-9898
Disclaimer: The city is not allowed to touch limbs/trees on power lines.
All streets in the city are assigned one of the following priorities:
- Priority A: This includes primary routes, hazardous bridges, arterial streets, steep grades and major collector streets, and will be the 1st roadways to be cleared of ice / snow. Examples include Church Street, Laurens Road, Roper Mountain Road and Pleasantburg Drive.
- Priority B: This includes collector streets. On these streets, snow and ice will be removed or they will be spread with sand to make travel as safe as possible. Sand will only be used whenever it is deemed necessary. Examples include McDaniel Avenue, Rutherford Road, Verdae Boulevard and Parkins Mill Road.
- Priority C: This includes residential collectors and commercial streets. These routes will be plowed once “A“ and “B” streets have been addressed and all hill and trouble spots will be covered with sand. Examples include Cleveland Street, Lowndes Hill Road and Wembley Road.
- Priority D: This includes select neighborhood streets with steep hills or other trouble spots. These are only plowed if all other priorities have been addressed and if resources and supplies are available.
- Driveway Entrances: The removal of snow, both on and off the public right-of-way is the responsibility of the property owner.