DALLAS — As the Texas summer soars to near record temperatures, the potential for human calamity is obvious. But your house might be in need of a little TLC too.
"We have been extremely busy," said Brian White, the assistant operations manager at MedStar, which operates 65 ambulances and covers 436 square miles of Fort Worth and 14 surrounding counties.
MedStar's heat-related calls for assistance from May 1 to July 5 have increased 89.9% over the same period last year.
"Take precautions, hydrate before you go out," White said. "And if you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, start cramping up in any kind of fashion like that, stop sweating, that's when you need to listen to your body and take a break."
And for all of you who might be new North Texas residents, you might need to listen to your house as well.
Perma Pier Foundation Repair of Texas runs an entire YouTube channel on the topic. "Shift Happens" is the online program where they talk about all things foundation, including foundation repair and the impact that Texas weather can bring.
The topic for this time of year is that watering your lawn doesn't just keep the grass and landscaping alive, it also helps keep the soil from shrinking like a drying sponge.
"And as the ground starts to pull away from the structure, the foundation, and we get these fissures in it, it just continues to contract and contract and contract," said Justin Bryant, EVP of sales for Perma Pier.
"As it contracts, the soil is no longer supporting the structure, and so the weight of these houses start to drop. And the way to stay ahead of that is to keep that moist, not just around the foundation but the yard as a whole," he said.
Difficult perhaps, as many North Texas neighborhoods also face water restrictions right now. Bryant said keep that in mind too, with your best bet to water at night.
"So, if you have twice a week watering restrictions, you just need to do it twice as much on those two days. It's easier to prevent it by being ahead of the game and doing that maintenance," he said.
So, as first responders send out alerts, reminding us of the very real dangers of Texas heat to our children and to our pets, remember that "shift" does happen too. An example of something to be wary of as the "joys" of summer are just getting warmed up.