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    Tractor Supply Company

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    Creating a Heat Emergency Plan

    Creating a Heat Emergency Plan

    When temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two or three consecutive days, it is known as an extreme heat event. If humidity accompanies that heat, it feels even hotter outside. When we are exposed to extreme heat, our bodies have to work harder to maintain a normal temperature. This can result in heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. People with pre-existing conditions or illnesses, those who are overweight, children and older adults are at higher risk of health consequences relating to extreme heat. 

    No matter where you live, a heat wave is nothing to take lightly – especially when conditions become severe. Extreme heat is the leading cause of death due to weather events in the United States. At Tractor Supply, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in America, we’re committed to informing those living Life Out Here about the dangers of extreme heat. Our stores and online inventory are packed with extreme heat supplies that should be part of your heat emergency response plan. Learn more about extreme heat and what should be included in a heat safety plan. 

    How to Form a Heat Safety Plan

    Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable when you’re armed with knowledge about extreme heat. You should have a heat safety plan in place that details what do to in the event of a heat emergency. A thorough heat preparedness plan should include the following steps: 

    1. Prepare your home for an extreme heat event. 

    Around your home, cover windows with shades or drapes to keep the sun from making conditions even more uncomfortable. You should also add weather strips to your windows and doors, especially if you have air conditioning, as this will help keep the cool air inside the home. Window reflectors reflect the heat outside of the home. In the attic, insulation is also key in keeping your home cool. The use of fans on every level of your home can also help to circulate cooler air and keep you more comfortable. 

    To help you prepare for hot weather and extreme heat events, Tractor Supply carries several types of air conditioners (ACs), including window AC unitsportable AC units and installable air conditioners. As an alternative, you can also consider evaporative coolers, a special type of air conditioner that utilizes evaporation to bring down temperatures in the home. If you’re self-installing an air conditioner, be sure to insulate and seal around the entire unit. You may also want to invest in dehumidifiers depending on the humidity levels in your area.

    In some cases, extreme heat and other weather events can cause a brownout or complete electricity outage in your area. Keep your fans and air conditioners running smoothly with the help of a generator for your home. Tractor Supply has several types of generators to suit your needs, including gas generatorselectric generatorsnatural gas generatorsbattery generatorsliquid propane generators and dual fuel generators. We’re also home to flashlights and batteries so you can safely navigate your home and yard in the dark. 

    2. Prepare your lawn and yard for extreme heat. 

    If you don’t have air conditioning, staying outside could feel more comfortable than being inside during extreme heat waves. Tractor Supply can help you retrofit your yard or lawn with more opportunities to beat the heat, including patio and umbrella standsoutdoor shade structurespools and accessories. We also recommend rain barrels to collect rainwater once the heat wave breaks. This water can be used to give your very thirsty lawn and plants a drink, as well as for cleaning landscaped surfaces or patio furniture. Buckets, pails and tubs can also be used to collect rainwater or placed in barns and coops so your animals have extra drinking water. 

    3. Know how to protect yourself and your loved ones. 

    These heat safety tips could turn out to be lifesaving during the hottest days of the year:

    • Have basic emergency supplies on hand, from a first-aid kit and radio to non-perishable foods and emergency tools.
    • Do not leave pets or people unattended in a closed car.
    • Cool down by taking colder baths or showers. 
    • Stay hydrated by drinking ample fluids, especially water or sports drinks with electrolytes. 
    • Avoid cooking meals with your oven, as this can increase the home’s temperature. 
    • Don’t wear heavy or dark-colored clothing – keep everything lightweight and light-colored. 
    • If possible, do not work outdoors or partake in high-energy exercises or activities during the middle of the day, when the sun is the strongest. 
    • Keep tabs on family members, especially older adults and younger children, as well as individuals with health conditions. 
    • When outside, stay in the shade as much as possible, and wear a wide hat and sunscreen
    • Make sure everyone in your household or workplace is aware of your heat emergency plan. 

    4. Protect your animals from extreme heat conditions. 

    If you have outdoor animals like livestock, chickens or horses, get them ready with the proper hydration supplies. Don’t forget about your dogs and cats, too. Find the following at Tractor Supply: 

    • Animal bedding: During extreme heat, shavings and pellets should be changed regularly so the bedding is always dry and clean. 
    • Animal feed: Stock up on nutritious feed so your animals have the energy they need to stay healthy through extreme heat waves. 
    • Animal shelters: Consider a textile shed to provide comfortable shelter and shade for your livestock and birds. 
    • Cooling dog beds: These beds are elevated and have minimal material to help dogs cool down and rest.  
    • Dog and cat hydration supplies: Keep your pets hydrated and encourage them to drink more water with our selection of pet bowlswaterers and more. 
    • Dog cooling vests and freezable toys: Cooling vests for dogs help to reflect sunlight to keep canine pals more comfortable. When it’s time to chill, they can enjoy refreshing freezable toys. 
    • Doggy pools: These pools are designed with special materials that enable dogs to soak, splash and play. 
    • Forage: Because extreme heat can reduce the amount of natural forage available, you should supplement your animals’ needs with our inventory of forage. 
    • Horse cooling sheets: Horses wear sheet-like pieces of cooling material to stay more comfortable. 
    • Livestock cooling sheets: Cooling sheets can also be used for livestock and are available at Tractor Supply. 
    • Poultry hydration: From waterers to supplements with electrolytes, we have what you need to keep your chickens hydrated in extreme heat. 
    • Stock tanks: These large tubs provide livestock with easy access to drinking water. 

    5. Make proper accommodations when working outside in extreme heat. 

    Whether you’re a farmer, contractor or another professional who works outside, you likely can’t just drop everything to stay inside during an extreme heat wave. Follow these tips for practicing heat safety at the job site: 

    • Pack a cooler with ice: Keep your water and other beverages, plus refreshing snacks, on ice in a cooler. Freeze water bottles the night before so they stay as cool as possible all day long. 
    • Utilize sun protection clothing: Wear wide-brimmed hats, lightweight shirts with long sleeves, breathable long pants and work gloves
    • Cool down whenever possible: Seek shady spots for quick breaks from the sun, and try to head indoors with air conditioning whenever possible. Seeking respite in air-conditioned vehicles may also be an option on some job sites. Invest in a misting fan for extra comfort. 
    • Ensure proper hydration: Take small and frequent sips of water or sports drinks containing electrolytes, and do your best to avoid feeling thirsty. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks. It’s recommended to drink four to six cups of water per hour, or roughly 12 quarts of water daily. 
    • Have a coworker look out for you: Let anyone working with you know if you have health conditions that might make you more prone to a heat-related illness. Ask them to watch for symptoms and notify you immediately if you seem off. 
    • Take breaks often: This is important in extreme heat, especially when it persists for longer than a few days. Give your body time to adjust to the higher temperatures by taking more frequent breaks. 
    • Be mindful of heavy work gear: Wear breathable work gear and take frequent breaks if using equipment like masks and headgear. Take gear off during breaks to cool down more. 
    • Wear sunscreen: Choose sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and a SPF of at least 30. You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure so it fully absorbs into the skin. Reapply every one to two hours as needed. 

    6. Learn the signs and symptoms of heat illness.

    One of the best ways to prevent heat stroke or other heat-related conditions is to know the signs of heat illness. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one, take immediate action to cool down, and call 911 in an emergency:

    Heat Stroke Symptoms 
    • Abnormally high body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Confusion, dizziness or unconsciousness
    • Skin that is dry, hot and red but not sweating
    • Strong, rapid pulse not due to exercise

    Head to the hospital immediately if you suspect a heat stroke. Do not drink anything or give another person anything to drink if showing these symptoms. 

    Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
    • Abnormally weak or fast pulse
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Heavily sweating
    • Muscle cramps
    • Nausea
    • Paleness
    • Vomiting
    • Weakness

    If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, seek a cooler location immediately. Remove excess clothing and sip on water or sports drinks with electrolytes. If symptoms persist for more than an hour or are getting progressively worse, call your healthcare provider for assistance. 

    Heat Cramp Symptoms
    • Muscle spasms or pains in the legs, arms or stomach

    When heat cramp symptoms are present, cool down in a colder location and take off unnecessary clothing items. Rehydrate by drinking sports drinks with electrolytes or water. Call your doctor if symptoms persist for over an hour or keep getting worse. 

    7. Identify cooler locations near places you frequent. 

    You never know where you might be when extreme heat begins to take a toll on your body. Be familiar with places you can go near you to cool down, such as:

    • Grocery stores, malls or other retail locations with air conditioning
    • Local beaches, community pools or water parks
    • Libraries
    • Vehicles with air conditioning 

    You can also contact your local health department to get connected with a cooling center in your community. 

    8. Establish emergency contacts.

    Know who you’ll contact if you, a loved one, a coworker or even a stranger needs medical assistance in an extreme heat event. When calling 911, make sure you know the details of your location so first responders can easily find you. It’s also important to have personal contacts labeled as “ICE” in your cell phone (this stands for “in case of emergency”). If you have kids, teach them when and how to call 911 if an emergency occurs. Your children should also know your emergency contact person and how to call them in an emergency. 

    Find Heat Safety Supplies at Tractor Supply

    Whether you’re wondering how to stay cool in heat waves or how to prevent heat exhaustion, or if know the exact extreme heat supplies you need, Tractor Supply is here to help. Shop our inventory online or visit your local Tractor Supply store to prepare for the next heat wave. 

    Please note: This information is general and is not intended to replace or override any of the advice, warnings, or information given by local officials, FEMA, NOAA or any other official regulatory organization or government branch regarding storm safety in the form of extreme heat, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, floods or any other natural disaster or man-made disaster. Always follow take-cover recommendations, evacuation orders and any other advice given by local officials for your area, regardless of whether it is similar to or different from the information on TractorSupply.com.