Preparation key to surviving heat, humidity

With summer comes heat and stifling humidity. They key to getting through it is preparation, because everyone is at risk.

Even if you don’t think you need to prepare for the weather, there’s always concern for those with medical conditions who need to take extra steps in this weather. But doctors say those who don’t put any forethought into heat preparation are at the highest risk.

Beverly Offut says a bright day won’t keep her from daily tasks. She says she’s grateful to get outside from her desk job.

“It’s pretty hot today, but there’s a nice breeze. That makes it easy to mow,” Offut says.

Offut says she’s happy to take the extra steps to stay hydrated so she won’t overheat, but Dr. Chris Dobrose with Mayfield Family Medicine says folks unsuspecting in the sun are at greater risk.

Dobrose says by the time many realize they’re dehydrated the dangerous effects have already set in. Dobrose says not to be afraid to go to the shade and take frequent breaks, even for brief tasks.

“If you start feeling the symptoms of a heat injury, then get inside and cool off and get fluids,” Dobrose says.

Dobrose says those with respiratory problems have to be careful of high humidity, which can make it even more difficult to regulate their breathing.

He says an even bigger problem is if you’re outside and you stop sweating. Dobrose says that’s a sign of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. He says says feeling lightheaded and dizzy are danger signs.

It’s also important to keep in mind alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which are dehydrating. Dobrose says drinking water all day will help hydrate better, as opposed to drinking a large amount of water before going outside.

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