5 Tips to Beat the Texas Heat
The dog days of Summer are definitely here. Record high temperatures were recorded in Austin over the weekend 107° on Saturday, and 106° on Sunday! When we hit 100° or higher today we will mark a full two weeks in a row on the calendar with triple-digit temperatures. It’s hot out there, y’all!
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year! It is important to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the dangers of extreme heat by taking precautionary measures before and during a heat event.
What can you do to keep yourself safe during a heat wave?
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. During an extreme heat event, Ready.gov recommends the following actions:
- Postpone Outdoor Activities
- Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Anyone on a fluid-restricted diet or who has a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake. People with epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease should also consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Spend time in air-conditioned places. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spend some time each day in an air-conditioned environment such as public libraries, shopping malls or other indoor public spaces.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Stay informed! Heat Watches and Warnings
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme heat hazard:
- Heat Wave – Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
- Heat Index – A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
- Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Excessive Heat Warning – Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
- Heat Advisory – Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).