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Brace for dangerous heat July 4

It’s going to be a hot Indepence Day in Boyle County. Heat index values of “around 105 degrees are possible during the afternoon and early evening” on July 4, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s not just July Fourth, either. With Boyle County expected to experience 90-degree temperatures and even higher heat indexes in the coming days, Boyle County Emergency Management is warning residents to be careful.

The high today is predicted to be 89 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Wednesday’s high is predicted to be 93 degrees; Thursday’s is 90; and Friday’s is 84. There’s also a chance of thunderstorms every day except July 4.

Extreme heat can push the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity like Boyle County is experiencing, evaporation is slowed and the body must work harder to maintain a normal temperature, according to information from Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder.

“Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat,” according to the report.

Those living in urban areas may be at greater risk for heat wave effects than those who live in rural areas, because asphalt and concrete can store heat, according to the report.

Asphalt and concrete hold heat longer and then gradually release the heat at night, leading to higher nighttime temperatures, also known as the “urban heat island effect.”

Wilder’s report recommends installing window air conditioning units snugly and adding insulation around the unit as needed, as well as making sure all air-conditioning ducts are properly insulated. Using a temporary window reflector can lower indoor temperatures by reflecting heat back outside, according to the report. Keeping cold air in can also be accomplished by installing weather strips around doors and covering windows with drapes, shades or awnings.

According to Wilder, Boyle County residents should limit exposure to the sun by staying inside as much as possible and relocating to the lowest floor and away from the sun’s rays if air conditioning is not available.

One solution is to spend the hottest part of the day in public facilities such as libraries, movie theaters and shops, according to the report.

There are also dietary recommendations for days with high temperatures. Emergency Management recommends people eat meals regularly, and insure the meals are light and well-balanced and avoid using salt tablets unless directed by a physician. Also, remember to drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

Emergency Management also provided the following recommendations:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing, preferably lightweight and light-colored, that covers as much skin as possible. Invest in a wide-brimmed hat to protect the face and head from the sun.

 

  • Check regularly on family, friends and neighbors who spend significant time alone and do not have air conditioning.
  • Children and pets should not be left alone in closed vehicles.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. If the work must be done, work with a buddy and take frequent breaks.

For more information, visit boyleky.com/extreme-heat-precautions-and-help.

 

Advocate-Messenger Editor Ben Kleppinger contributed to this report.