Heat Safety: What you need to know
ARKLATEX (KSLA) - Heat, humidity, and days without rain sound like the dog days of summer, but that is what we are dealing with right now in the ArkLaTex.
Early excessive heat has caused temperatures to stay above average every day in May so far.
Heat is one of the top weather-killers in the United States leading to many deaths and more people left with heat-related illnesses.
It's never too early to start preparing for the heat. One important aspect of extreme heat is knowing the difference between warnings, watches, and advisories.
- Heat Advisory: issued within 12 hours of the upcoming event. This is where the heat index is expected to be at 100 degrees or higher for more than a few days
- Excessive Heat Warning: when you need to take action immediately because heat index values could exceed 105 degrees.
- Excessive Heat Watch: issued when conditions are favorable for a major heat event
The heat index is a measurement to show how hot it feels outside. You can calculate the feels like temperatures if you have the current air temperature and the relative humidity with the chart below.
What should you do during a heat event?
- Wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated
- Check on the elderly frequently as they are more likely to experience a heat-related illness
- Limit the amount of activity that you do outdoors
- Don’t leave pets outside too long
- If you do work outside, take frequent breaks
- NEVER leave any pets of children inside of a car
The inside of a car can quickly heat up to over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes on a hot day. This is unsafe for any person or pet at any age. Make sure to always check the back seat before you get out a car.
Heat-related illnesses are very dangerous because during these heat events it is much harder for the body to cool down. You should know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating; cool pale clammy skin, dizziness, and fainting.
Symptoms of heat stroke are headaches, confusion, shallow breathing, skin is hot or red, rapid pulse, and fainting. Something else you may not think of is the UV Index, but this can be deadly if you spend too much time outside. If the UV Index is high, you could burn within 10-15 minutes.
You can track the temperature outdoors as well as the feels like temperatures on our Stormtracker 12 Weather App:
- Download the free KSLA Stormtracker 12 weather app to your smartphone
- Check the weather page at KSLA.com
- Follow KSLA Stormtracker 12 on Facebook and Twitter
- Watch KSLA News 12 on Roku and Amazon Fire TV
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