The National Weather Service has advised that temperatures will be in the 90s this week. This time of year it is considered above normal temperature by a least 10 to 15 degrees. Extreme heat pushes the human body beyond its limits especially with high humidity.

Heat disorders occur due to overexposure to heat or over-exercise for your age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and individuals with illnesses and overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.

You should be familiar with the extreme heat risks and what to do. Before extreme heat, you can cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.

Did you know outdoor awnings  or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent? Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in and keep storm windows up all year. During extreme heat stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

Consider spending the hottest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other public buildings. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light colored clothes. Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Drink plenty of water (hydration). If you have a medical problem with fluid retention, you should consult a physician before increasing liquid intake. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning or spend their time alone. Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.

Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke (sun stroke) are three conditions for which you should seek medical assistance. Heat cramps occur due to heavy exertion and are often the first signal the body is having trouble with the heat. Heat exhaustion occurs when you exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating and blood flow decreases to vital organs. This can result in a form of mild shock.

This condition can worsen and develop into a heat stroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition. The ability of the body to regulate its temperature stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. If you need help, call 911.  

Let’s be smart and be prepared for this summer. Know how to handle the extreme heat conditions and enjoy the great summer in Jackson County.

Source of Information: FEMA.gov, Ready.gov, National Weather Service