HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT NOW: How to stay safe!
HEAT! It's a killer- literally. It is one of the leading weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.
In fact, on average, excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Therefore, you need to be careful over the next few days!
ICYMI: The National Weather Service in Louisville has issued a heat advisory for today from 12 pm until 8 pm. As strong high pressure builds over the area, high temps will be in the low to mid 90s with high dew points (humidity). This will lead to heat index values around 105 degrees for several hours.
Regardless if there is an advisory issued where you live or not, it is still going to be dangerously hot. Be sure to listen to your body and take care of yourself!
During extremely hot and humid weather, your body's ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness.
It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. Some of these symptoms and steps are listed below.
HEAT CRAMPS: Painful spasms usually in the muscles of legs and abdomen with heavy sweating. FIRST AID: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.
HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, clammy skin; thready pulse; fainting and vomiting but may have normal temperature. FIRST AID: Get victim out of sun. Once inside, the person should lay down and loosen his or her clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke): High body temperature (106° F or higher), hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness.
FIRST AID: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. While waiting for emergency assistance, move the victim to a cooler environment reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do NOT give fluids. Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
HEAT INDEX: How warm it "feels"
You hear us talk about the "heat index" a lot this time of year. . .What is that?
It is a measure of how hot it really feels when the relative humidity or the dew point is factored in with the actual air temperature. Our heat index will be in the triple digits for the next several days, with today being the hottest! We will not see much relief for much of this week.
As an example, if the air temperature is 96°F and the relative humidity is 65%, the heat index--how hot it feels--is 121°F. The National Weather Service will initiate alert procedures when the Heat Index is expected to exceed 105°-110°F (depending on local climate) for at least 2 consecutive days.
NWS also offers a Heat Index chart for area with high heat but low relative humidity. Since heat index values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15°F. Also, strong winds, particularly with very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous. With days and days of heat ahead - it is important to know ways to stay safe. Find out how below. With days and days of heat ahead - it is important to know ways to stay safe. Find out how below.
WAYS TO STAY SAFE
- Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
- Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
- Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic & decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Don't drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeine.
- During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
- Don't get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat.
- Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.