This is a story that aired on OETA Public Television's The Oklahoma News Report in Tulsa Oklahoma as reported by Cathy Tatom and photojournalist Tim Carson. For more information or to contact us, please go to www.oeta.tv
The verbatim script follows below...
OKLAHOMA'S FIRST HEAT ALERT OF THE SUMMER IS IN EFFECT IN TULSA.
HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY ARE MAKING MANY PEOPLE MISERABLE... AND SOME SICK. EMSA TOOK ONE OLDER WOMAN TO THE HOSPITAL THIS AFTERNOON IN FAIR CONDITION.
SHE HAD BEEN STAYING IN AN UNAIR CONDITIONED HOUSE.
AS OETA'S CATHY TATOM REPORTS, HEAT ALERTS ARE DECLARED WHEN EMSA RESPONDS TO FIVE OR MORE HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES IN A SINGLE DAY.
WORKING IN THE MIDDAY SUN WHEN THE TEMPERATURES CLIMB WELL INTO THE 90'S AND THE HEAT INDEX TOPS 100 IS BRUTAL.
YESTERDAY, IT LANDED FIVE TULSA AREA MEN IN THE HOSPITAL WITH HEAT SICKNESSES.
AS WELL AS SIXTH WHO MAY HAVE BEEN HOMELESS.
THAT TRIGGERED EMSA'S FIRST HEAT ALERT OF THE SUMMER.
Tina Wells/EMSA: "Basically, an EMSA heat alert is just designed to let the public know that there's a real danger out there."
AND THAT WE ALL NEED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
Tina Wells/EMSA: "We need to drink before we go out to activities. While we're doing activitIes. And after activity. Enough so that you never feel thirsty. We also need to dress for the weather. Light colored, light weight loose clothing."
ALSO AVOID OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AND EXERCISE DURING THE HOTTEST PARTS OF THE DAY.
EARLIER THIS WEEK OUR OWN METEROLOGISTS ROSS DIXON WARNED WHY THE HEAT IN OUR STATE IS ON THIS SUMMER.
Ross Dixon: "We've got I think El Nino beginning to redevelop and that means generally a hot dry summer for Oklahoma."
HIGH HEAT IS HARDER ON SOME GROUPS THAN OTHERS.
THE ELDERLY NEED TO STAY INDOORS WHERE IT'S AIR CONDITIONED IF POSSIBLE.
IF THERE'S NO AIR AT HOME OLDER PEOPLE NEED TO SPEND THE HOTTEST PART OF THE DAY AT A SENIOR CENTER, LIBRARY, THE MALL.OR ANYWHERE THAT'S COOL.
PEOPLE ARE ADVISED TO CHECK ON ELDERLY FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS OFTEN TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE ALL RIGHT.
ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON'T LIKE TO RUN THEIR AIR BECAUSE THEY FEAR IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE.
THE HOMELESS ARE ALSO AT RISK.
DURING HEAT ALERT TULSA'S DAY CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS IS EXTENDING ITS HOURS.
Mack Haltom/Day Center: "We want to be we help people to get inside to stay cool. We offer water here. We offer the cooler clothing here, the showers to cool off."
IT'S ALSO HANDING OUT CARDS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH LISTING WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT RELATED ILLNESS AND HOW AVOID IT.
Cathy: "EMSA tells us children under the age of four are among the most vulnerable when it comes to high heat days that's because they can't always tell Mom and Dad when they're thirsty or too hot."
WHEN THEY'RE OUTDOORS PLAYING THEY NEED PLENTY OF WATER BREAKS AND TIME IN THE SHADE.
SO DO THE COMPETITORS IN TULSA THIS WEEK FOR THE SWAT TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS.
SWAT Team Competitor: "What I feel sorry for are the Canadian guys - great guys - but I'm sure they're not used to this."
NEITHER IS THE TEAM.
SWAT Team Member: "It's a little bit cooler up in Cheyenne, Wyoming."
WHETHER YOU LIVE IN OKLAHOMA -- OR ARE JUST VISITING -- HEAT ILLNESS SYMPTOMS ARE THE SAME.
Tina Wells/EMSA: "Signs of heat related illness are going to be heavy sweating, more than we would normally sweat given the same activity also we may feel a headache, we may feel faint or dizzy, nauseous or maybe vomiting."
WELLS SAYS ANYONE WITH THOSE SYMPTOMS NEEDS MEDICAL ATTENTION AND WATER IMMEDIATELY.
IN TULSA, I'M CATHY TATOM, THE OKLAHOMA NEWS REPORT.