Heat indexes rising

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer is well upon us, bringing with it soaring temperatures so high they can even be dangerous.

The National Weather Service has forecast a heat index of 100 degrees today and the high temperatures will continue throughout the rest of the week as the forecast is for temperatures in the low 90s with heat indexes in the high 90s to low 100s.

“With temperatures and heat index as high as they have been and are forecast to be, it is extremely important to take precautions,” said Jeanna Barnes, EMA director. “We have a lot of various outdoor activities going on throughout the county and we want to stress the importance of taking breaks and cooling off.”

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In addition to keeping themselves safe in the heat, Barnes stressed that residents remember to do what’s necessary to protect their pets from the heat wave as well.

“Please don’t forget about outdoor animals and pets,” Barnes said. “Provide them with plenty of drinking water and if possible a place to cool off. If you are able, bring your pets indoors.”

With the heat comes the danger of heat related illnesses such as heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin, nausea and vomiting, headaches and fainting, according to the CDC. To combat the illness, the CDC suggests moving to a cool place, loosen clothes or sip water. Get medical help immediately if vomiting, symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.

Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, hot and red dry or damp skin, feeling confused, dizziness and nausea. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call 911 right away, according to the CDC. Those assisting the person suffering should move the person to a cooler place and help lower their temps with a cool cloth or bath. The person should not be given anything to drink.

Barnes also stressed that children and pets must not be left in cars, where the temperatures can increase quickly and drastically.