• 73°

The heat is on: What you can do

Agent

Toi Degree

By Toi Degree

Rowan Cooperative Extension

We are in the midst of summer in the South, and we truly have had some very hot days.

Extreme heat, as it may be referred to, often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (two to three days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees.

When someone is exposed to extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body.

Here are a few things that you need to know and 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 in an area under an extreme heat warning:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • 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.

Prepare in advance by:

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

Keep your home cool by doing the following:

  • 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.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.

Be safe:

  • 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 this 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 you, family members and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Recognize and respond; know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways 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, nausea or vomiting, fainting.

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 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

For more information on extreme heat visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

Toi N. Degree, Family and Consumer Education Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension Rowan County Center; toi_degree@ncsu.edu or 704-216-8970.

Comments

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza