to surpass 100
Gas prices may be falling this summer, but the heat is rising and emergency managers urge precautionary measures need to be exercised as the temperature begins a projected trek to the century mark by the weekend.
“It’s hot and gonna get hotter,” said Curtis Cline, administrative officer and Nixle.com emergency administrator for the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
At the CBCEMA offices Monday, the weather station recorded a high temperature of 100 at 5:04 p.m.
Sunday evening, the thermometer settled at a balmy 99 degrees and projections of 101 to 102 degrees by Friday and through the weekend are being issued by National Weather Service forecasters.
A high pressure system is approaching Tennessee from the mid-U.S., heating up the interior of the country as it pushes eastward.
The NWS has issued an Air Quality Alert.
Cline said forecasters are calling for the temperatures to affect the southeastern and northeastern portions of the state with Knoxville, Chattanooga and other cities reaching likely record highs.
A “zero” percent chance of rain is forecast for the next several days, according to the NWS short-range forecast.
Cline said the NWS has posted “oppressive heat indices” indicating the extreme conditions could cause health-related health issues for unprepared residents.
Temperatures today were expected to approach 100, while hitting near 102 or 103 on Friday. Saturday’s high could jump to 107, according to latest projections with Sunday’s mercury still in excess of the century mark. Highs are expected to finally dip below 100 by Monday, but will still remain in the high 90s.
In 1952, the temperature reached 103 degrees. In 1936, a record of 101 was documented.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to protect their health when temperatures are extremely high, and to remember to keep cool and use common sense.
The following tips are important:
• Drink plenty of fluids.
During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Replace salt and minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
• Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids in addition to pain and skin damage. Excessive long-term exposure can eventually lead to skin cancer.
If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (which will also keep you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so your body’s “thermostat” will have a chance to recover.
• Pace yourself.
If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
• Stay cool indoors.
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, medical experts say fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool — not hot — shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
• Use a buddy system.
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
• Monitor those at high risk.
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
• Adjust to the environment.
Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the extreme temperatures.
If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.
• Do not leave children or pets in cars.
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures within a few minutes. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
Anyone left inside a car without working air conditioning is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are open. To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat.
When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver. When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
• Use common sense.
Avoid hot foods and heavy meals — they add heat to your body.
Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision. Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches. Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car. Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
• Recognize heat stroke.
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down.
Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following: An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, measured orally), red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and/or unconsciousness.
Call for help immediately and attempt to begin cooling the person’s body by using cool water if someone is having these symptoms but don’t administer fluids orally, according to the CDC.
• Recognize heat exhaustion.
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. Cooling measures that may be effective include cool, nonalcoholic beverages; rest; taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; being in an air-conditioned environment and lightweight clothing.