Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Charleston, SC

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NOUS42 KCHS 230809

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Charleston SC
409 AM EDT Thu May 23 2019


Oppressive heat and humidity is expected across much of the
region over the Memorial Day weekend into much of next week. Now
is a good time to review some safety information on excessive
heat. This information is provided by the American Red Cross and
the National Weather Service.

Excessive heat and humidity will make for dangerous conditions if
proper precautions are not taken. Excessive heat kills people by
taking away the capability of the human body to cool itself.
Approximately 175 Americans die each year from exposure to
excessive heat. If working outside, take frequent breaks and
drink enough water to remain hydrated.

Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light colored clothing.
Light colors will reflect away most of the sun`s energy. It is
also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.

Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously
even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which
dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to
do so by a physicians.

Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high protein foods
which increase metabolic heat.

Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous
work, do it during the coolest part of the day. This is usually
in the morning between 4 and 7 am.

Stay indoors when possible. If air conditioning is not available,
stay on the lowest floor out of sunshine. Remember
that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate air.

Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly
residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air

Pets can also succumb to the effects of excessive heat. Ensure
pets have adequate fresh drinking water and a shady place to
rest. Do not keep pets in cars with the windows rolled up, even
partially. Temperatures inside cars can reach well over
150 degrees.

Remember, the heat index is measured under shady conditions so
direct exposure to sunshine will increase the heat index by as
much as 15 degrees.

Never leave a child in a car with the windows rolled up, even for
a few minutes.

Know the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

...Heat Cramps...
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion.
Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are an early
signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

...Heat Exhaustion...
Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or
work in a hot, humid place where bodily fluids are lost through
heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood
flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of
mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke.
Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or
red skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness
and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.

...Heat Stroke...
Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke is life threatening. The
victim`s temperature control system, which produced sweat to cool
the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high
that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled
quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin. Changes in
consciousness. Rapid, weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.
Body temperature can be very high, sometimes as high as
105 degrees.

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