NWS: Summer temperatures finally here. Be prepared.
It’s a late start to the summer season, but the first signs of summertime warmth are finally here. It can take several days, and possibly weeks for our bodies to adjust to activities in warmer conditions, and heat illnesses can be dangerous. That’s why the National Weather Service, and the Vermont Departments of Health and Emergency Management are reminding people to stay safe and healthy as the thermometer rises.
During hot weather, your body’s temperature control systems can have a hard time keeping up, and your temperature can get dangerously high. Whether you are putting in your garden, taking your canoe out for a paddle, heading up the Green Mountains for panoramic views, or just out for a walk, it’s important to start slowly, drink more fluids than usual and take extra breaks in the shade or cool indoor locations. Especially as the temperature climbs, check-in on loved ones and neighbors.
Certain individuals are at an increased risk of heat-related illness and even death. People who work or exercise outdoors and older adults and young children should take extra precautions, in addition to people who are overweight, have a chronic medical condition, are taking certain medications, or are using drugs or alcohol. Those who live alone or do not have air conditioning face higher risk.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness − muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache or light-headedness. Most heat illnesses can be treated with fluids and by resting in a cooler place. If symptoms persist or get worse, or someone you are with seems confused or loses consciousness, dial 9-1-1 and get immediate medical help.
The risk for heat-related illnesses in Vermont and northern New York increases when temperatures reach the mid-to-upper 80’s, especially on sunny, humid days. During last summer’s six-day heat wave), four Vermonters died from excessive heat and there were 15 times more heat-related emergency department visits than normal. Learn more about symptoms and first aid at weather.gov/safety/heat-illness.
Stay cool, Stay hydrated, Stay informed: Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy in Hot Weather
- NEVER leave children, people with disabilities, older adults or pets in parked vehicles.
- “Look Before You Lock!”
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Drink plenty of water, or non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.
- Seek relief in air-conditioned spaces or other cool and shady places.
- Limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.
- Close window shades during the day, keep windows closed when it is hotter outside than inside, and avoid using appliances and lights that generate heat, if possible.
- Check on loved ones and neighbors, especially those living alone and without air conditioning.
The National Weather Service issues two types of heat alerts:
- Heat Advisory − when the forecasted Heat Index (Apparent Temperature) is expected to be 95 to 104°F for several hours or more.
- Excessive Heat Watch/Warning− when the forecasted Heat Index is expected to be 105°F or warmer for several hours or more.
- The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.
Weather-related information, forecasts and warnings:
- Visit us at weather.gov/btv/ or weather.gov/aly (Bennington and Windham county forecast office)
- Join us on Facebook - facebook.com/NWSBurlington/
- Follow us on Twitter - twitter.com/NWSBurlington
You can also stay informed of weather and other alerts impacting Vermont by signing up with VT-ALERT (www.vtalert.gov). As well as following Vermont Emergency Management’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement
Additional Heat Safety Resources
- Vermont Department of Health - healthvermont.gov/climate/heat
- NOAA’s Weather Ready Nation Heat - weather.gov/safety/heat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
- FEMA Extreme Heat - ready.gov/heat