Reacting To Extreme Heat
In most of the U.S. extreme heat can be defined as a long period of high heat and humidity levels with temperatures reaching above 90 degrees. We are no strangers to the hot summers here in Virginia, so it is important we know how to react to these periods of extreme heat. Ready.gov reported that extreme heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths compared to all weather-related hazards.
Why Extreme Heat is so Dangerous:
Extreme heat causes evaporation to slow which results in our bodies having to work extra hard to maintain a normal body temperature. It is very dangerous for anyone's body to have to overwork itself in such a way, but it is especially dangerous for older individuals, children, and sick or overweight people. When humidity is high, this increases how hot the temperature will feel as well.
How to React to Extreme Heat:
When a warning for extreme heat has been issued it is important for people to find an airconditioned area and avoid staying outside for long periods of time. When it is necessary to head outside, people should avoid strenuous activities, wear light clothing, and make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Being alert for heat-related illness is important during these times such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Individuals should make sure they are checking on family members and neighbors to ensure their safety. It is also important to note that people and pets should never be left in a closed vehicle, for they can reach an extremely high temperature in a very short period of time.
Make sure you are staying aware and protected this summer!