Today is Heat Awareness Day in Michigan. With a cloudy, wet day and temperatures in the 50s and 60s you probably aren’t concerned about the hazards of heat. The weather will turn warmer as summer arrives, and understanding this hazard could save your life. The NOAA National Weather Service offices serving Michigan and the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness provide the following information:
Extreme Heat Can Cause Death!
- About 115 people in the U.S. die each year from extreme heat. Heat deaths and injuries are usually underreported.
- Most heat related deaths occur in people’s homes and in people over the age of 40.
- Every location in Michigan has experienced 100 degree heat sometime in the past.
- Metro Detroit experiences about twelve 90+ degree days per year.
- Southern Lower Michiganexperiences seven to twelve 90+ degrees days per year.
- Northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula experiences about five 90+ degree days per year.
- Warm nights with temperatures above 70° hinders the body’s ability to cool and creating even more heat stress for the next day.
Watches, Advisories and Warnings
- Excessive Heat Watch – Issued when the Heat Index (HI) may be at least 105° within the next 2 to 3 days.
- Heat Advisory – Issued when the HI is expected to be at least 100° for 3 hours or more.
- Excessive Heat Warning – Issued when the HI is expected to be at least 105° for 3 hours or more.
Actions to Prevent Heat Disorders
• Hydrate –
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty!
- Avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar.
• Educate –
- Know the latest temperature and heat index forecasts and values.
- Find a cool place where you will be able to get out of the heat.
- Know the warning signs of heat illness.
• Act quickly –
- Get medical help right away for any of these warning signs:Dry hot skin, heavy sweating, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, cramping, nausea, dizziness, confusion and exhaustion.
• Take it easy –
- Avoid over exertion especially between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm. Take breaks at least hourly in the shade or in an air conditioned location.
- Stay out of the sun and stay in a cooled building as much as possible.
- Use a fan only when the windows are open or when the air conditioner is on.
Listed below are the four types of heat disorders that occur, their symptoms and first aid:
Swelling, pain and redness of skin, blisters, fever, headaches.
Apply cool cloths to the burned area or immerse in cool water.
Apply moisturizing lotion. Do not use salve, butter or ointment.
Do not break blisters. Get medical attention for sunburned babies less than 1 year old.
Muscle pain, heavy sweating.
Stop all activity for a few hours. Drink water, clear juice or a sports beverage. Get medical attention if cramps do not go away within 1 hour.
Heavy sweating, cramps, tiredness, weakness, headache, cool and moist skin, fast and weak pulse, fast breathing, nausea, fainting.
Get the victim out of the sun, lay them down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Give sips of a nonalcoholic drink. Get medical attention right away if the symptoms are severe or if the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.
High body temperature (103° orally). Red, hot, dry skin without sweating. Rapid, strong pulse. Throbbing headache. Dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness.
Do not give fluids to drink.
Move the victim out of the sun and cool them down using a garden hose, sponging with cool water or any other method to cool them rapidly.
For more info: Heat: A Major Killer
HEAT INDEX FORECASTS
For all the latest Grand Rapids Weather news, click here to ‘Subscribe’and receive an email whenever a new story is posted. You can also follow the Grand Rapids Weather Examiner on Twitter and connect with the Grand Rapids Weather Examiner on Facebook