Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 28, 2013

Heat calls for caution


Kokomo Tribune

---- — The forecast calls for highs in the 90s for the foreseeable future. Combined with high humidity, the National Weather Service says it could feel as warm as 103 degrees today.

The American Red Cross recommends you discuss heat safety precautions with members of your family and have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.

If you’re going to be out in the heat, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. It is also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella.

Stay hydrated. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

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

Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on family, friends and neighbors who are aging or ill and those who do not have air conditioning. Check on your animals frequently, too, to make sure they are not suffering from the heat.

Howard County has had precious little rain for the last couple of months. The U.S. Drought Monitor just last week listed the southern tier of the county as abnormally dry.

Though a lack of rainfall is normal for this time of year, it’s probably a good idea to closely monitor, if not limit, open burning, comfort fires or similar legal fires until weather conditions improve.

Our best advice in the current conditions is to use common sense.

Stay out of the sun if you can. Make sure your neighbors and your pets stay cool. And don’t start any fires that might spread, such as brush burning, until after we’ve had a good, soaking rain.

It’s hot our there, folks. Let’s keep our heads about us.