The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for today, with excessive heat conditions expected throughout the rest of the week. The combination of heat and humidity can cause dangerous heat index values to go well above 100 degrees during the afternoon hours.
Proper precautions should be taken to prevent heat related illness now, and during future heat advisories and warnings.
- Stay indoors in the air-conditioning as much as possible. Keep the shades drawn and blinds closed. If you cannot afford air conditioning or it isn’t available, spending some time each day (during the hottest part of the day) in an air conditioned environment such as a public building, with friends, or your church can give some relief. Call 211 for information on cooling centers in your area, or go to http://gis.dhss.mo.gov/Website/coolingCenter/coolingCenter.html on the internet. In Lee's Summit the Mid-Continent Public Libraries are considered daytime cooling centers.
- Slow down. Strenuous activities should be avoided, reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to cooler times of the day.
- Fans should only be used in a ventilated room. Blow hot air out a window with a fan during the day, and blow cooler air in at night.
- Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeine drinks. Drink plenty of fluids even if you’re not thirsty. Persons with medical conditions or on fluid restrictive diets should consult their physicians before increasing fluid intake.
- Dress for the heat. Wear loose fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. If you must go out, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen.
- Elderly persons, small children, those on certain medications, and persons with weight and alcohol problems are particularly susceptible to heat illness. These people should be particularly aware of their own safety, or should be checked on frequently by friends and family.
- Pets and livestock are also susceptible to heat illness. Let pets out for short periods of time only. Make sure that outdoor pets have plenty of shade and water, and check on them frequently.
Heat related problems can be deadly; any symptoms of a problem should be taken seriously. Get out of the heat and seek medical attention if problems persist.