Beat the Extreme Heat
Did you know that heat is the number one weather-related killer? Humans eliminate heat by losing water through the skin and sweat glands. But when extreme heat is paired with high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the human body must work harder to maintain an average temperature. This combination can be dangerous to those who don’t follow proper precautions.
The following heat-related statistics are sited from the National Weather Service:
- In a normal year, approximately 175 Americans die from extreme heat. Young children, elderly people, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to become victims.
- Between 1936 and 1975, nearly 20,000 people succumbed to the effects of heat and solar radiation.
- Because men sweat more than women, men are more susceptible to heat illness because they become more quickly dehydrated.
To prepare for the summer heat, follow this heat preparedness checklist:
- Build a disaster supply kit
- Create a family emergency plan
- Check air conditioning ducts
- Weather-strip doors
- Cover windows with drapes
- Keep storm windows up yearly
- Get trained in first aid
- Be aware of victims of excessive heat
- Listen to local weather forecasts
- Be aware of upcoming temperature changes
During a heat wave, The Red Cross recommends you do the following:
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Eat small meals and eat more often
- Avoid extreme temperature changes
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
- Stay indoors
- Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors