With record high temperatures expected Tuesday in Wisconsin and the Midwest coupled with muggy air, it will be downright dangerous to your health if you are not careful. In fact danger from heat is nothing new the U.S. It is one of the main weather killers. Annually about 162 people die in the U.S. from hot weather. Some years it is much worst than that. Do your remember in the summer of 1995 when over 600 people died in Milwaukee and Chicago? Most were elderly folks in poorer neighborhoods and apartment complexes. The buildings in the middle of the cities just didn’t cool off. Even at night temperature stayed around 85 degrees in the buildings and it was too much for many to handle.
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for western and southern Wisconsin for Tuesday afternoon. This means the Heat Index could top 100 degrees. The heat index is how it “feels” to your body when the temperature and humidity is combined. It is harder for you to cool off when it is humid because your sweat doesn’t evaporate well. The evaporation of sweat helps to cool your body otherwise because the heat from your body is used to convert the liquid perspiration into water vapor.
HEAT WAVE SAFETY TIPS
- Drink extra fluids, especially water.
- Slow down, avoid heavy or prolonged physical exertion.
- Go in air conditioned places as much as possible.
- Go in the shade as much as possible.
- Wear light colored, light weight clothing.
- Avoid sunburn. Your body has a hard time regulating its temperature if you are sunburned. Besides it hurts!
- Check on the elderly.
- Make sure your pets have good ventilation and ample water.
- Don’t leave your kids or pets unattended in a parked car. Even with the windows open it can get excessively hot.
- Eat more frequent small meals, rather than one big one.
- Try to do chores and work in the early morning and evening when it is somewhat cooler.
To learn more about the various types of Heat Advisories and Warnings the National Weather Service issues, and to learn about signs of heat illness, visit this website. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on June 6, 2011