Extreme Heat

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Are You at Risk

Extreme heat is more than an issue of discomfort. It forces the body into overdrive as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation.
People in urban areas are at greater risk because the stagnant atmospheric conditions trap pollutants in the air, which, when breathed can trigger respiratory problems for many people.

The effects of extreme heat can undermine your physical well-being so slowly and subtly that the dangers aren't apparent until it's too late.

Do you know what a Heat Advisory means?

In regions of low humidity, the most common human response to extreme heat is dehydration. Exposed to direct sunlight and temperatures in excess of 90 degrees, a human can lose as much as half a gallon of water every ten minutes, and this dehydration can seriously interfere with one's internal thermostat.

Heat Index Chart

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Heat-Related Illnesses

No matter where you live, it is important to recognize the real dangers of extreme heat and take action to offset its impact at its earliest stages.

The gradual nature of extreme heat's effects on the body make it important that you be aware of the following heat-related illnesses:

Severe Sunburn - So much more than a dermatologic issue, sunburn reduces the skin's ability to release excess heat, making the body more susceptible to heat-related illness.

Heat Cramps - Muscle pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion, which triggers loss of water through heavy perspiration. These usually involve the muscles of the abdomen or legs.

Heat Exhaustion - A mild form of shock marked by heavy sweating, weakness, cold, clammy skin, a weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. This usually occurs when people have been exercising heavily or working in a warm humid place. The blood flow to the skin increases - in an attempt to cool the body - causing the blood flow to the vital organs to decrease.
If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen; the body temperature will keep rising, possibly leading to heat stroke.

Note: simple overexposure to extreme heat can precipitate this condition in very young children and the elderly.

Heat Stroke (also called Sunstroke) - A truly life-threatening condition in which the body's internal thermostat has ceased to work. Your ability to sweat stops, and the temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may occur in less than ten minutes unless medical help is immediate.

How Will You Be Warned?

If you are in the peak summer months, and the temperature and/or humidity has been unusually high for several days, anticipate an extreme heat emergency situation.
Keep an eye on The Weather Channel to track the heat index and to get information on excessive heat potential.

Although the threshold criteria may vary depending on the location, two kinds of alerts are generally issued.

Heat Advisory - Issued when the heat, or combination of heat and humidity, is expected to become an inconvenience for much of the population, and a problem for some.

Excessive Heat Warning - Issued when the heat, or combination of heat and humidity, is expected to be dangerous for a large portion of the population.