The Heat and Your Body

When the summer months arrive in Arkansas, the heat can sometimes become unbearable. Factoring in high humidity, it feels warmer than it actually is. More specifically, the body is not able to cool as effectively through sweating.

On a dry day, sweat evaporates into the air, which creates cooling. Adding moisture to the atmosphere cuts down on evaporation. Over time, the body temperature rises and shuts down.

Heat is the number one weather-related killer across the country (more than hurricanes, floods, lightning, and tornadoes).

The “heat index” considers the effects of heat and humidity. It is considered dangerous when these variables combine to make it feel like 105 degrees or greater.

Heat Precautionary/Preparedness Actions

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.