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Drew: Tips for Staying Safe During a Heat Wave

By Samuetta Hill Drew

For the past few days, we have been experiencing extreme heat patterns in our area of the country. Many of us have heard the local news forecasters warning us about a heat advisory. Daily extreme heat temperatures, as well as the high heat index, is the most dangerous severe-weather event in the U.S.
Scorching temperature, accompanied by high humidity, together equals a serious health risk. This new safety series on a heat wave will provide information on what it is, how to prepare before, during and afterwards to help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Know that the National Weather Service issues heat advisories and excessive heat warnings when unusual periods of hot weather are expected. An excessive heat outlook is issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next three-seven days. Therefore, you must be aware by listening to your local weather forecasters or read the daily temperature information from your cell phone app, especially if you are going to be outside for a considerable length of time.
Record heat patterns were seen in 2021 and in 2022 record highs are being set throughout the country and around the globe. During the last few years, the world has experienced the warmest temperatures on record. These weather trends, and heat waves are expected to continue, according to experts.
These types of record highs are problematic for three reasons. The first reason is humans are not used to this type of intense heat and the second reason is many people do not have air conditioning which can make heat waves like these potentially deadly. The last reason is The World Health Organization says exposure during these particular heat waves can cause exhaustion, confusion or even heat attacks, and can exacerbate existing health conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
It is fairly easy to prevent these types of adverse health effects during a heat wave with best practices. Looking out for your family, friends and neighbors is important.
So, what are people to do? How should you plan to manage in the future when scorching temperatures become the norm? You should start by having a safety plan and a respect for the destructive potential of extreme heat.
One of the most important tips to include in your safety plan is how to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things one can do to help prevent heat related illnesses. An average person needs to drink about three-quarters of a gallon of fluid daily. It is important to avoid sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic drinks.
Eating meals and snacks throughout the day with adequate water intake is enough to maintain electrolytes and replace salt lost when sweating.
These are a few essential tips you should use to Keep an Eye on Safety during heat waves.