Heat index expected to hit triple digits

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The Fourth of July fireworks won’t be the only thing soaring high Wednesday. The heat index is expected to climb between 103 and 108 degrees. This follows days of weather in the high 90s.

The Fourth of July fireworks won’t be the only thing soaring high Wednesday. The heat index is expected to climb between 103 and 108 degrees. This follows days of weather in the high 90s.

West Side resident Jackie Green said the hotness has been too unbearable.

“I’m not able to enjoy the weather because it’s so hot. I have no choice but to stay inside” Green told the Defender.

With the hot temperatures this week, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) urges residents and visitors to take precautions for the sweltering weather.

“Each summer the City of Chicago continues to advise the public of the dangers of extreme hot temperatures and its’ impact on our families, pets, lifestyle and activities. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent heat-related emergencies and lead to a summer filled with fun and activities,” said Gary W. Schenkel, OEMC Executive Director.

OEMC stressed recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related maladies such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Heat exhaustion” is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. “Heat stroke” is more serious, and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of heat stroke are:

* An extremely high body temperature, such as 103 degrees or above;

* Dizziness and nausea;

* A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong;

* Skin that is red, hot and dry.

Jermaine Johnson said he beats the heat by changing his “location” every 30 minutes.

“I stay cool by staying in the air. I rotate every 30 minutes. I stay inside for 30 minutes and go outside for 30 minutes. That way, I’m able to enjoy being outside,” he said.

Almteria Williams finds relief from the heat by drinking cold water while she’s outside in the beaming sun and humid weather.

“I’m hot, miserable and pregnant,” Williams said before taking a drink of water.

Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of Chicago Department of Public Health recommends everyone follow five basic prevention tips to protect themselves during extreme heat:

* Be sure and drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you’re exercising — avoid caffeine, alcohol or and sugary drinks, these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.

* Keep your body cool—take an occasional cool bath or shower. If you are disabled or have mobility limitations that prevent you from taking a bath or shower, use cool, wet towels or washcloths to cool your skin.

* Avoid going out in the heat during the hottest part of the day. Find a way to get into an air-conditioned home or a cool part of the house, like the basement. If you don’t have access to air conditioning and you are concerned about your health, pick up the phone and call 311 to find the nearest cooling center.

* If you have to go out, wear light, loose-fitting clothing—and wear a hat to protect your head.

* Importantly, remember to check on relatives, friends and neighbors who are elderly or otherwise vulnerable and share these tips with them or call 3-1-1 to request well-being checks and rides to cooling centers.

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