What does red alert mean? What precautions should be taken?

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Everyone is at risk

Red heat wave warning, in different sectors (drought, drinking water supply, saturation of hospitals or funeral directors, power outage, forest fires, need for organization of working time or cessation of certain activities, etc.). This situation requires the application of exceptional measures.

Red heatwave alertness is not judged by temperature parameters alone. Météo-France states that everyone intervenes when they are likely to be threatened. We also need feedback from the field to know if there are already results (especially hospital congestion). Météo-France is not the only decision maker for this measure, it cooperates with the Ministry of Health.

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Heatwave in France: our dossier

Heatwave in France: our dossier

France is facing an “abnormal” heatwave for the period caused by global warming. Temperatures in the southwest are expected to exceed 40°C. A phenomenon that is becoming more common and not without health risks.

What consequences, what risks?

Red vigilance concerns everyone, even the people in good health, the government indicates. A sharp increase in temperature can endanger people at risk (the elderly, the disabled, those with chronic diseases, regular medication users and isolated people). Athletes or people working outside are asked to be wary of heatstroke, and finally, it is recommended to keep an eye on children.

In the case of an intense and persistent increase in temperatures, the consequences can be numerous. Namely, symptoms of dehydration (muscle cramps, fatigue causing dizziness, weakness, unusual tendencies to insomnia), as well as heat stroke or hyperthermia. They occur when the body can no longer regulate its temperature and it rises rapidly. Heatstroke is characterized by unusual aggression, hot, red and dry skin, headache, nausea, lethargy and intense thirst, finally confusion, convulsions, and loss of consciousness.

Ministry of Interior

What are the steps you need to take for yourself?

The government advises to prevent dehydration and heatstroke and to protect yourself from heatwave red alert:

– Of course, you need to drink water several times a day and continue to eat normally.

– Wear a hat and light clothing when outside.

– It is also recommended to wet the body with an atomizer, washcloth or shower or bath several times a day, paying attention to the fact that it is warm, not cold.

– It is also recommended not to go out between 11:00 – 21:00 during the hottest hours.

– If you decide to face the heat, try to go to a cool or air-conditioned place two or three times a day.

– You should also limit your physical and sports activities that increase your body temperature as much as possible.

– At the end of the day, keep shutters, curtains and windows closed and ventilate at night.

And for others?

If there are elderly people around you with chronic or isolated illnesses, check or visit them regularly. Also try to accompany them in a cool place. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor in case of discomfort or behavioral problems. Finally, to prevent vegetation fires, do not use any equipment that can generate sparks and take care not to engage in any behavior that may cause a fire (cigarettes, barbecues, etc.). In case of fire, immediately call 112 or 18 and seek shelter.

Red Vigilance: A first for South West departments