Heatwave in the U.S.: How You Can Stay Safe

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Heatwaves in America have shocked everybody around the world. It is severe and directly affects a lot of people in the country. It’s not a secret that global warming is to be blamed for this. Without it, these continuous heatwaves are extremely unlikely.

People who live on the higher floors of brick buildings are more susceptible to the dangers of excessive heat. People in such places must follow the necessary precautions and contact a reliable air conditioning company. These buildings retain heat after the sun goes down.

The temperature doesn’t go down even at night so people can’t prepare for another day of high heat.

What causes a heatwave?

When the Temperatures are above the historical average in an area for more than two days, it’s labeled as a “heatwave”. Heatwaves are caused when the atmosphere’s high pressure moves inwards and causes warm air to flow towards the ground. That air gets compressed and thus, warms up quickly. Therefore, people begin to experience drastic heat.

This high-pressure system expands vertically and forces other weather systems to change their course too. It even reduces the wind and the cloud cover and makes matter worse by stifling the air. This cycle continues and this is how a heatwave lasts longer over an area for several days on the end.

Which places America generally experience record-breaking heatwaves?

Salem broke records this summer and became the hottest city on the continent. In Oregon, the temperature reached 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.22 °C). This was the highest for the city as per the data of the National Weather Service.

The temperature broke all barriers when it hit 112 degrees and 115 degrees consecutively for two days at Portland International Airport. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded there since 1940. Canada also broke a national 84-year-old heat record by nearly 3 degrees. There, a small town in British Columbia reached almost 116 degrees.

How to save yourself from scorching heat?

Summers in North America can be challenging. It’s important to take precautions for your safety and be there for other people as well. Below are some tips that you can follow along with quick safety measures in case of emergencies :

  1. Experts advise that during extreme heat, it’s crucial to drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, can save you from a lot of sweat. You should also make sure to never leave a disabled person, a child, or a pet inside a locked car.
  2. If you’re outside, make sure to hydrate regularly. It’s advisable to stop for multiple breaks in the shade as much as you can and limit strenuous outdoor activities.
  3. If you love to exercise outside, schedule your workout for early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun will be down.
  4. The CDC also warns against high humidity. In such conditions, sweat does not evaporate quickly. This will prevent your body from releasing heat as quickly as it may need to.
  5. Even if you are staying indoors during an extreme heatwave, there are plenty of other precautions to consider like do not rely only on a fan as your main source of cooling. It’s good to keep a check on your neighbors and friends. Also, don’t use the oven or stove to cook, as it makes your house hotter.
  6. Those living in cities should know that the sun’s going down doesn’t mean that they should drop the precautions. Heatwaves are worse for those living in cities, and they must take care even in the evening and night. The urban heat island phenomenon explains that larger cities are more susceptible to higher temperatures than the surrounding areas. This is because of all the heat-absorptive surfaces, like tall buildings and dark pavements.
  7. If you spot someone suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a cooler or an air-conditioned place ASAP. Give them water to drink if they’re fully conscious, and have them use a cold compress or take a cool shower. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling dizzy or fainting, excessive sweating, cool or pale skin, excessive nausea or vomiting, a rapid pulse, and muscle cramps.
  8. Communities can begin investing in long-term strategies since heat waves are becoming a norm. These strategies include – installing cool and vegetated ‘green’ roofs, planting more trees in the area, and switching to paving materials that are cool and don’t trap as much heat.
  9. Overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation also results in a painful sunburn. Long-term exposure can also lead to more serious health problems, like premature again of skin, skin cancer, and other health problems. Children are, particularly at risk.

Therefore, the good old safety net, Sunscreen, goes a long way in saving you from such problems. Read the ingredients while buying sunscreen to make sure that it works. Lather it onto your skin and keep reapplying throughout the day. It doesn’t work if you just apply once and forget about it.

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