The National Weather Service in Green Bay issued an excessive heat warning in effect through 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21.
High humidity and extreme temperatures above 90 degrees prompted the warning early this week.
Christina Muller, from the Outagamie County Emergency Management Office said, “We have not seen this type of heat wave since mid-July 2006.”
“During that time areas of central, north-central and east-central Wisconsin had 4-6 consecutive days of near or above 90 degree temps,” said Muller.
The National Weather Service predicted a peak temperature of 94 degrees by mid-week, causing concern for public safety. Residents should avoid over exposure that can quickly cause heat exhaustion or even life threatening heat stroke.
Muller said people at higher risk for heat related illness include: older adults, infants and young children. People with heart or lung problems, disabilities or persons who are overweight, are also at a greater risk.
Basic signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea and or vomiting. “If you feel these signs of heat exhaustion get cool and drink water right away,” says Muller.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur: confusion, unconsciousness, chest pain, shortness of breath or when an overheated person is unable to sweat.
Muller offered the following suggestions for staying safe during this extreme weather.
• Never leave children, disabled persons, or pets in a parked car – even briefly. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes, even with the windows cracked.
• Check on your neighbors and family. If you have a neighbor, family member or friend who doesn’t have air conditioning check on them throughout the day to make sure they are okay. Also consider inviting them over to your house to get them out of the heat.
• Slow down and limit physical activity. Plan outings or exertion for the early morning or after dark, if the temperatures are cooler.
• Drink plenty of water and eat lightly. Don’t wait for thirst, but instead drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol or caffeine and stay away from hot, heavy meals.
• Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool.
• Taking a cool shower or bath will cool you down. A shower or bath will actually work faster than an air conditioner. Applying cold wet rags to the neck, head and limbs also cools down the body quickly.
• Keep your living space cool. Cover windows to keep the sun from shining in. If you don’t have an air conditioner open the windows to let air circulate. When it’s hotter than 95 degrees, use fans to blow hot air out of the window rather than to blow hit air on your body. Basements or ground floors are often cooler than upper floors.
• Go to where it is cool. If you don’t have air conditioning visit a public area such as a library or shopping are. Also consider staying with family or friends who have air conditioning.