Heat Wave: How To Stay Cool & Safety Tips

heat wave

Hurricane Barry has provided the St. Louis area with cooling temperatures in the 70’s and minimal sunshine. However, the remnants of hurricane Barry have scattered and are no longer providing us a cool rainfall. Local news channels are predicting a heatwave to hit the remainder of the week. St. Louis is expected to see temperatures in the 90’s reaching the 100’s with the heat index reaching 105. This heat wave is predicted to hit Wednesday through Saturday.

Heat Wave Lingo

Weather forecasters will often use terms such as “Heat Advisory” or “Excessive Heat Warning” when a heat wave is predicted, but what do exactly do they mean?

  • Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
  • Heat Advisory – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs= 100-105° Fahrenheit).
  • Excessive Heat Warning – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs= 105-110° Fahrenheit).

During a Heat Wave

As the heat wave starts to set in today, you’ll want to follow these safety tips to keep you, friends, and family cool:

  • Keep an eye on the local news via tv, radio, or even Twitter to get the latest updates on the weather
  • Stay hydrated! Even if you don’t feel thirsty, take a sip. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat smaller meals more often rather than three large meals. Foods like strawberries, cucumber, or lettuce contain more water than other foods. (Eat more of these!)
  • Try to avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear light-color, lightweight, and losing fitting clothing. Heavy clothes will trap your body heat and dark color absorb the sun’s rays more than a light color.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If you need to be outside, try to plan for the early morning or late evening. These times tend to be cooler rather than mid-day.
  • If you work outside, use the buddy system. Check-in regularly on those outside with you (and take frequent breaks in a shaded area).
  • NEVER leave kids or pets alone inside an enclosed vehicle!
  • Check-in on your family, friends, and neighbors regularly! And be sure to keep an eye on your pets, too!

Heat Wave Illnesses

If you are affected by the heat you may experience dehydration, heat cramps, or worse such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Here is how to recognize these illnesses:

Dehydration

Symptoms

    • Increased thirst
    • Dry mouth
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Decreased urine output & more yellowish than normal (urine should be clear to pale yellow when properly hydrated)

Treatment

    • Increase fluid intake (water or sports drinks)
    • Reduce body temperate (remove excess clothing, move to shade/air conditioning, or use a cool wet rag to help bring your body temperature down)

Heat Cramps

Symptoms

    • Muscular pains
    • Muscular spasms
    • Body cramps or aches

Treatment

    • Move to a cooler location (shade/air conditioning)
    • Gently massage the affected area
    • Lightly stretch the muscle
    • Increase fluids

Heat Exhaustion

Typically, this affects those who are regularly exposed to extreme conditions such as athletes, firefighters, construction workers, etc.

Symptoms

    • Pale or flushed skin
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Exhaustion

Treatment

    • Move to a cooler location (shade/air conditioning)
    • Reduce body temperate (remove excess clothing, move to shade/air conditioning, or use a cool wet rag to help bring your body temperature down)
    • If conscious, provide the individual sips of fluids high in electrolytes (4 oz of fluid every 15 minutes)

If the condition does not improve. they refuse water, vomit, or come in and out of consciousness, call 9-1-1 for professional medical help.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition and develops when the body is overwhelmed by heat and begins to shut down.

Symptoms

    • Extremely high body temperature
    • Change in consciousness
    • Rapid, weak pulse
    • Rapid, shallow breaths
    • Confusion
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures

Treatment

    • Call 9-1-1 immediately
    • Reduce body temperate (remove excess clothing, move to shade/air conditioning, or use a cool wet rag to help bring your body temperature down)
    • Cover the body with cool water or wet rags to aid in dropping body temperature

Excessive heat is something you don’t want to try your luck with. When outside in high temperatures, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. If you must be outside, be smart and stay hydrated. Always check in on your friends, family and especially the elderly. Don’t forget about your pets, too!

Remember, if you think the person’s life is at risk, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

 

About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 by Earl and Nancy Woodard. Today, the company is run by 3rd generation, Justin Woodard. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodard services the greater metro area (Illinois, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, and many more). Woodard is proud to serve as the preferred provider for cleaning & restoration services. Our cleaning services include carpet, hard surface, furniture, and rug cleaning for both residential and commercial properties. We also provide water, fire, board-up, storm and smoke restoration services for residential and commercial clients. For information or questions submit a form online or call us at 314-227-3932.

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