Heat Warnings Sweep Across U.S.: What You Should Know

Iowa State Extension highlights how the signs of heat stress are often overlooked by the victim.
Iowa State Extension highlights how the signs of heat stress are often overlooked by the victim.
(Farm Journal)

This week, dangerous heat is sweeping across Texas to Wisconsin to Ohio to Georgia. 

It’s particularly important to watch out for yourself and each other when heat indexes reach 91 degrees or higher, as referenced by the Mayo Clinic. The heat index is a value calculated with the outside temperature and humidity—which is important as in high humidity environments you can’t effectively sweat. This makes people more prone to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat Index Chart

Health experts say it can take several weeks to adjust to higher temperatures. With this sudden onset of wide-spread heat, it’s important everyone takes steps to stay safe. 

Watch Out for Each Other

Iowa State Extension highlights how the signs of heat stress are often overlooked by the victim. As their report details, “The individual may at first be confused or unable to concentrate, followed by more severe symptoms, such as fainting and/or collapsing. If heat stress symptoms occur, move the victim to a cool, shaded area, give him or her water, and immediately contact a supervisor or another individual to provide assistance.

8 Tips to Stay Safe Outside in Heat 

  1. Stay hydrated, which helps your body swat and keep a normal body temperature. 
  2. Eat light—but often. 
  3. Protect your skin. Wear hats with brims, sunblock, sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen every two hours (or more often if  swimming or sweating.)
  4. Wear loosefitting, lightweight clothing. 
  5. When possible, schedule activities in cooler part of day. 
  6. Take breaks
  7. Take extra precautions with certain medications that affect your body's hydration or ability to dissipate heat. 
  8. Be cautious if you have certain conditions or a history of previous heat illness.

To help everyone stay safe and be aware, Superior Ag Safety and Compliance Manager, Ryan Coleman, reminds everyone to make hydration and safety a priority in this video: 


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