Heat waves usually consist of high temperatures and high relative humidity. This combination makes it difficult for the human body to dissipate heat through the skin and sweat glands.
Research findings strongly suggest that Heat Index (HI) values of 90 to 105 degrees make sunstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
The NWS issues Heat Advisories when it expects daytime HI’s to equal or exceed 105 degrees for 3 or more hours while nighttime HI’s equal or exceed 80 degree’s, for any 24 hour period.
The NWS issues Excessive Heat Warnings when it expects daytime HI’s to equal or exceed 115 degrees for 3 hours or more while nighttime HI’s equal or exceed 80 degrees, for any 24 hour period.
Slow down, reduce outdoor activities, dress for summer, wear lightweight light-colored clothing, drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids.
Keep in mind that the young, elderly, people on medication, and people with weight or alcohol problems are at a greater risk during heat waves. Certain medications may “turn off” the sweating mechanism in some people, thus making it very difficult for them to cool down by sweating.
Use common sense, and use the buddy system…..frequently contact those individuals who are at a greater risk and help them obtain relief from the heat.
What You and Your Family Can Do:
Monitor a NOAA Weather Radio signal to obtain the latest forecasts and warnings.
Make sure the radio receiver has a battery backup.
NWS warnings are broadcast on commercial radio and TV stations as well as cable TV channels.
Know the county you live in. Severe weather watches and warnings are issued on a county basis.
Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.
Stay off the water if a thunderstorm approaches.
If a storm is approaching, seek sturdy shelter.
What to do and take should your family be evacuated:
- Clothing for a week
- Prescribed or necessary medication and glasses
- Important papers and purse or wallet, credit cards, deeds, and checks
- Personal and toiletry articles
- Special dietary items such as infant formula
- Bring books, cards or games for entertainment
- Household pets should be evacuated. You are responsible for the care and shelter of the animal. Pets are not allowed in public shelters.
- Lock doors, shut windows and close blinds and draperies. Prepare your home like you were going on vacation.
- Notify family and friends about what is happening and where you plan to stay
- Move quickly and calmly
If you are ordered to stay indoors or “shelter in place” follow these tips:
- Close all doors and windows
- Do not evacuate your home
- Turn off air conditioners, furnaces, ventilation fans and other air intakes
- Listen to the radio for further instructions