Extreme Heat Warnings!
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90 degrees hotter than the air, while shaded and moist surfaces – often in more rural surroundings – remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slo release of heat from urban infrastructure.”
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme hear from affecting you.
- If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning.
- Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside
- Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
- Be sure to apply sunscreen often
Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening.
Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.