No relief from the heat

Staff Writer
Runnels County Register
July has already had more than 10 days of triple digit heat. According to AccuWeather, there is no relief in sight as temperatures for the rest of the month are expected to be 96 degrees or higher.

July has arrived with it’s usual triple digit temperatures and there isn’t much relief in sight. So far this month we’ve already had several days where the mercury has climbed well over 100-degrees.

A trend began on July 11, when the temperature reached 104 degrees. July 12, saw temperatures hit 107 degrees. The following day, July 13, the thermometer topped out at 110 degrees.

According to the AccuWeather forecast, we can’t reasonably expect temperatures to drop below triple digits until Monday, July 20. Currently the forecast predicts that after July 20, temperatures will drop into the high 90s for the rest of the month, with temperatures expected to be in the 96 - 99 degree range.

The Heat Index should also be taken into consideration when planning outdoor activities. The Heat Index is available on the AccuWeather website. A 105 degree day with 30% humidity will have a Heat Index of 113 degrees. A day that hits 110 degrees with 30% humidity will have a heat index of 123 degrees.

Humans can suffer heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with children sometimes the victims of adults who leave them in their cars. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website reports that 51 children died from Vehicular Heat Stroke in 2019. Pets also often become heat-death related statistics from being left in cars or being left outside without shelter from the heat.

The US government website, Ready.Gov, gives information on the problems that extreme heat can cause and how to avoid becoming a statistic:

Extreme heatis a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.

Remember:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

Find air conditioning.

Avoid strenuous activities.

Wear light clothing.

Check on family members and neighbors.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN EXTREME HEAT THREATENS

Prepare NOW

Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.

Keep your home cool:

Cover windows with drapes or shades.

Weather-strip doors and windows.

Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.

Add insulation to keep the heat out.

Use attic fans to clear hot air.

Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.

Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.

Be Safe DURING

Never leave a child, adult or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.

Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.

If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.

Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.

Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as it could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.

Avoid high-energy activities.

Check yourself, family members and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Recognize and Respond

Know the signs of heat-related illness and how to respond to it.

HEAT CRAMPS

Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs

Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting

Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

HEAT STROKE

Signs:

Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally

Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat

Rapid, strong pulse

Dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness

Actions: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

You can find more heat precautions at the www.Ready.Gov website.