The first day of summer isn’t playing around. The intense heat today is expected to hang around a while, kicking off what promises to be a steamy season.
Many Southerners are fond of saying “It’s not the heat, but the humidity.” That combination is what makes a 95-degree temperature “feel like” 105 degrees. According to www.weather.com, “The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.”
The National Weather Service out of Charleston, South Carolina, issued a heat advisory that will likely last through Monday, warning of temperatures in the high 90s and heat indices of up to 107 degrees.
Wear light clothing, and check on people such as the elderly or those who live alone. Never leave a child in a hot car.Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn
This means take it easy, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
If you do not have to be out in the heat, don’t, he said. But those who work outside or must otherwise be outdoors should take precautions to make sure they don’t get overheated.
“Keep cool, drink plenty of fluids, preferably not alcohol, and stay in the shade when you can,” he said.
Frequent breaks to stay hydrated and cool off — preferably in a shady or air conditioned area — are advisable during the hottest part of the day, he said.
“Wear light clothing, and check on people such as the elderly or those who live alone. Never leave a child in a hot car,” he continued. “I transport grandkids on occasion and the first thing I do when I get out of the car is open the (passenger) doors.”
Don’t forget pets, Wynn said. Never leave an animal in a hot car, and if they are used to being inside, do not leave them out for long. Animals that must be outside should have plenty of shade and fresh water.
People and animals alike need to replenish salts and minerals lost when sweating, he said.
According to the National Weather Service website (www.noaa.gov), the triple-digit heat indices over the next few days can cause heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The chance of rainfall through Monday wavers between 20 percent and 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Information from Google lists the following signs as being indicative of heat stroke: a throbbing headache; dizziness or light-headedness; lack of sweating in spite of the heat; skin that is hot, red and dry; nausea/vomiting; muscle weakness or cramps; rapid heartbeat; and shallow breathing.
Heat exhaustion signs include confusion; dark urine (dehydration); dizziness and fainting; fatigue; headache; and nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
If someone has these symptoms, hydrate them, keep them cool and call for medical help. Wynn said Bulloch County 911 operators have routed only one call so far (in Candler County) for heat-related illnesses this week.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.