April 18, 2014

Hot weather returns

Uncomfortably hot weather isn’t finished with us yet. The rest of this week will see a return to the hot, humid and potentially dangerous conditions which have plagued so much of this summer. Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management, said temperatures will be the mid-to-high nineties by Thursday, with heat indexes in the 100 degree range across much of Wisconsin. Ten people died as the direct result of heat earlier this summer.

People at higher risk of a heat-related illness include:

· Older adults and Infants and young children

· People with chronic heart or lung problems

· People with disabilities

· Overweight persons

· Those who work outdoors or in hot settings

· Users of some medications, especially those taken for mental disorders, movement disorder, allergies, depression, and heart or circulatory problems

· People who are isolated that don’t know when or how to cool off – or when to call for help

Pets and livestock can also suffer from the heat. Make sure all pets and livestock have access to cool, clean water and shade. Try to provide shade for all animals pastured outside. Consider adding shade cloth or tarps to an area to provide shade or open pastures to areas where trees or buildings provide shade. Limit exercising your pet to early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler. Some of the signs of heat stroke in pets include heavy panting, glazed eyes, and excessive thirst. Seek veterinary assistance immediately.

The heat can cause roads to buckle. Also, expect heavy traffic on Wisconsin roads and highways with the upcoming holiday. Check your routes ahead of time for road construction and other possible delays. Call 511 or go to readywisconsin.wi.gov for road updates. 

Pritchard recommends plenty of water, and staying in air conditioning if possible. Heat was directly linked to ten deaths earlier this summer. “Heat takes lives more than tornadoes and floods and winter storms combined,” said Pritchard. This latest wave of hot temperatures is not expected to last through the upcoming Labor Day weekend.