Heat Safety and Heat Index - WBAY

StormCenter 2 Safety Tips

Heat Safety and Heat Index

Summer heat kills more people each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The only deadlier weather condition is the cold of winter.

A heat wave is usually defined as three consecutive days with high temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Though days of heat can take their toll on our reserves, even a single day of hot weather can be dangerous if we try to do too much or are confined to an area that becomes too hot.

Hot weather feels even hotter when it's humid. Moisture in the air prevents perspiration from evaporating, which is how the body cools itself. Below is the Heat Index Chart, which shows how hot the weather feels to your body as the relative humidity (RH) rises.

RH
(%)
Temperature (° F)
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105
90 119 123 128 132 137 141 146 152 157 163 168 174 180 186 193 199
85 115 119 123 127 132 136 141 145 150 155 161 166 172 178 184 190
80 112 115 119 123 127 131 135 140 144 149 154 159 164 169 175 180
75 109 112 115 119 122 126 130 134 138 143 147 152 156 161 166 171
70 106 109 112 115 118 122 125 129 133 137 141 145 149 154 158 163
65 103 106 108 111 114 117 121 124 127 131 135 139 143 147 151 155
60 100 103 105 108 111 114 116 120 123 126 129 133 136 140 144 148
55 98 100 103 105 107 110 113 115 118 121 124 127 131 134 137 141
50 96 98 100 102 104 107 109 112 114 117 119 122 125 128 131 135
45 94 96 98 100 102 104 106 108 110 113 115 118 120 123 126 129
40 92 94 96 97 99 101 103 105 107 109 111 113 116 118 121 123
35 91 92 94 95 97 98 100 102 104 106 107 109 112 114 116 118
30 89 90 92 93 95 96 98 99 101 102 104 106 108 110 112 114
Note: Exposure to direct sunlight can increase heat index values up to 15° F

   Effects of the Heat   

80 to 90 degrees Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.

90 to 105 degrees Sunstroke, heat cramps, and/or heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and or physical activity.

105 to 130 degrees Sunstroke, heat cramps, and/or heat exhaustion likely, and heatstroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.

130 degrees and higher Heat stroke/sunstroke highly likely with continued exposure.

   Beating the Heat  

  • The most obvious: Stay indoors or out of the sun. Run air-conditioning, or fans if they cool the air (circulating a hot breeze can be worse than no breeze). Otherwise enjoy public, air-conditioned places such as shopping malls.
  • Drink more water or juice. Avoid drinks with caffeine, carbonation. Also avoid alcohol, which dries you out and reduces your ability to recognize signs of heat stress.
  • Eat less protein and other foods that increase your metabolism.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid strenuous activity including running, bicycling, and yard work.
  • Check on the elderly, who are most susceptible to heat stress.
  • Check on children, who may be too young-- or simply having too much fun-- to recognize the signs of heat stress.

   What to Do  

Heat Cramps
What it is: Painful spasms, typically in the legs or abdomen.
What to do: Apply firm pressure to cramping muscles, or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.

Heat Exhaustion
What it is: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale, and clammy. Pulse thready. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting.
What to do: Get victim out of the sun. Lay down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan, or move victim to air-conditioned room. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke/Sunstroke
What it is: High body temperature (106 degrees F or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness.
What to do: Heat stroke is a SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Get emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital IMMEDIATELY. Delay can be fatal. Until you can get medical help, move the victim to a cooler environment. Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air-conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do NOT give fluids.

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