Weekend brings high heat advisory

Published 4:00 am Saturday, July 18, 2015

Although the official start of the summer season isn’t until next week, Alabama will see record-pushing temperatures this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid to upper 90s with the heat index as high as 109 degrees in some advisory areas. A heat advisory has been issued for Pike County and surrounding areas until 9 p.m. Sunday.

Capt. Curtis Shaver of the Troy Fire Department encouraged people remain indoors during the weekend and avoid strenuous physical activities if at all possible. However, with the Dixie Boys and Dixie Junior Boys State Tournament being held at the Sportsplex over the weekend, some might find that a difficult task.

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“First thing is you have to drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated,” Shaver said. “Stay away from caffeine and stay away from alcohol, anything that will dehydrate you more. You have to limit your physical activity outside to the cooler times of the day trying to concentrate most of your time to the evenings and mornings, reducing your time out in the heat.”

Common sense is key to dealing with high temperatures and an even higher heat index, Shaver said. Drinking water and being aware of how you are feeling in the heat could be the difference between overheating and not.

“If anyone feels the effects of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911,” Shaver said. “It is a true medical emergency, and they need medical care.”

Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion is also key, Shaver said.

“Heat exhaustion is going to be basically when you start getting to the point where you’re overheating,” Shaver said. “Heat exhaustion you will still sweat, but you’re starting to get lethargic. You could be a little confused at that time. A heat stroke is to the point where you actually quit sweating. You basically have dehydrated yourself to the point where your body no longer has floods to give off to help cool your body off. You’ll start having lower blood pressure because you’ll have less blood volume circulating in your body and you also don’t have the fluids to secrete though our pores to cool your body. It’s a double-edged sword once you get to that point.”

If individuals should start to suffer heat stroke or heat exhaustion, Shaver said quick action is key. “You can go to a point where your body has gone too far and you can’t recover from it. Place wet towels around your neck, anywhere with high blood flow. With actual, you really just want cool water, not ice water. You don’t want to shock your body right away.”

Shaver said the fire department would have medics on call at the Sportsplex should players or fans overheat. He encouraged both the athletes and the fans to prepare for the heat.

“It would probably be good if you went and bought cool packs or extra towels you can wet to try and fight it off and cool your body off as much as possible,” Shaver said.