MIDLAND, Texas — Summer is only a couple weeks away, but temperatures across West Texas are already hitting triple digits.
This is why Midland Fire Department is urging citizens to be careful when they are outside, especially in the blazing heat.
Heat exhaustion makes one feel nauseous or extremely thirsty. You'll also start to sweat more than usual.
Heat stroke, on the other hand, is heat exhaustion's scarier, more deadly cousin, according to Administrative Battalion Chief KC Ward.
"Now with heat stroke, that's when you're gonna be looking at confusion or dizziness, you can become unconscious," Ward said. "Heat stroke is severely worse"
The most at risk for either heat exhaustion or heat stroke are the elderly or small children.
And, while you should always call 911 in case of an emergency, there are ways to help someone if you can spot the symptoms of a person affected by the heat.
"If you witness somebody who appears to be having the symptoms of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion, the best thing you can do is move them to a cool place that is shaded, or somewhere that is inside where there is an air conditioner," Ward said. "Another thing you can do is loosen their clothing, if they're able to, have them sip water, don't let them drink too fast."
So while staying inside with your fans and ice water is easily the best way to avoid the heat, you're going to have to go outside eventually.
"Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you have to be out in the heat, take frequent breaks, make sure you're staying hydrated," Ward said. "Don't keep drinking energy drinks all day, drink water. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated."
Midland Fire Department says that, during the summertime, they average about five to seven calls concerning heat stroke a week.