Florida Hazards Watch - Heat Wave
Though Florida is known as the Sunshine State, it could also qualify as the “Hot State.” Each summer, millions of residents and tourists enjoy the warm weather and sunny beaches, but most are unaware of just how hot it can get in Florida. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the state is always influenced by tropical moisture, especially in the summer.
What Is A Heat Wave?
A heat wave is an extended time interval of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather. To be a "heat wave" such a period should last at least one day, but conventionally it lasts from several days to several weeks.
What Is The Heat Index?
The heat index is the "APPARENT TEMPERATURE" that describes the combined effect of high air temperature and high humidity. The higher this combination, the more difficult it is for the body to cool itself. If you work outdoors, it is critical that you remain aware of the heat index and take the appropriate precautions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has produced the Excessive Heat Events Guidebook (PDF, 60 pp., 1,796 KB) with assistance from Federal, state and local and academic partners.
Designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events, the guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas and provides a menu of options that officials can use to respond to these events in their communities.
The Guidebook was developed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Municipal officials in both the U.S. and Canada provided useful information that can be used to help the public cope with excessive heat.
As a quick reference resource, the Excessive Heat Events Guidebook in Brief (also available as a PDF File, 2pp., 104 KB) offers summary information and useful tips that can be used when preparing for and responding to excessive heat.
EPA also has a page of general information related to extreme heat events, to help individual, communities, and businesses prepare for and respond to heat waves.
What Actions Should You Take To Be Prepared?
- NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN A PARKED CAR: The temperature can raise to 135 degrees in less than ten minutes, which can cause death to children or pets. If you see a child or pet left unattended in a parked car, you should call 9-1-1 and alert authorities.
- SLOW DOWN. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
- DRESS FOR SUMMER. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, (2) are on fluid restrictive diets, or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
- DON'T DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
- DON'T TAKE SALT TABLETS UNLESS SPECIFIED BY A PHYSICIAN Persons on salt restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
- Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
- Don't get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.
Where Can You Go For Up-To-Date Info?
|R E L A T I V E H U M I D I T Y %|
|108°||130||137|| HEAT INDEX
With Prolonged Exposure and/or Physical Activity
|Heat Stroke or Sun Stroke highly likely||Sun Stroke, Muscle Cramps, and/or Heat Exhaustion likely||Sun Stroke, Muscle Cramps and/or Heat Exhaustion possible||Fatigue Possible|
August 20, 2012 16:06