Heat Safety - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Severe Weather Safety

Heat Safety

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A Heat Wave was once defined as a spell of three or more consecutive days when the shade temperature reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit on each day. But this lacked a consideration of the humidity factor so vital to human comfort. Often times we hear the term Heat Index used. This is a "feel-like" temperature that combines the effects of the Relative Humidity and Temperature. The higher the humidity on a warm day, the less evaporation from our body, which in-turn leads to less cooling.

The Heat Index can be calculated by a lengthy mathematical formula, but it is much easier to use a chart in which the calculations have been performed.

The summer heat and drought of 1999 will be remembered for years to come. The temperature reached over the century mark on more than one occassion. The warmest day of the year was July 30th. The temperature, 106, was 1 degree shy of Louisville's all-time record high set back in 1936. The heat index on July 30, 1999 topped out at 120 degrees.

Heat can affect anyone. However, it is more likely to affect young children, elderly people, and people with health problems. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

SIGNS OF HEAT EMERGENCIES

Heat Cramps
Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. heavy sweating.

Heat Exhaustion
COOL, moist pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.

Heat Stroke
HOT, Red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. body temperature can be very high, sometimes as high as 105 degrees f. heat stroke is life-threatening. Get the person to a cooler place and very quickly cool the body. call 911. immerse the victim in a cool bath or wrap in wet sheets and fan him/her. Watch for signs of breathing problems.

HEAT SAFETY TIPS

  • Dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids.
  • Try to do outdoor work in the early morning or evening hours.
  • Don't leave children or pets in a car without the windows rolled down.
  • Wear a hat and use plenty of sunscreen.
  • Check on the elderly.