Posted: Jul 23, 2012 7:53 PM by KOMU Staff
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 7:54 PM
COLUMBIA - With temperatures and heat index values expected to be more than 100 degrees for much of this week, the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) encourages everyone to take the proper steps to protect themselves from the heat and humidity we will experience.
"Anyone who has lived in this area long knows that the heat and humidity can take a dangerous and deadly toll on those the most susceptible, the young and the elderly," said Interim OEM Director Scott Olsen. "However, we also want to advise extreme caution to those who are at work or play outdoors. Too much exertion without sufficient breaks and water can have an extreme effect on the body."
Olsen and health officials recommend frequent breaks for those who are outdoors during the peak heating hours of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. During those breaks, drink plenty of water and rest in either shaded areas or in air-conditioned buildings. The elderly, infants, young children, and people with chronic health problems or disabilities are especially at risk during times of high heat and humidity. They should be watched closely when high heat and humidity impact the area. In addition, pet owners are encouraged to make sure their animals have plenty of water and are in well shaded areas.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Heat Advisory for much of mid-Missouri, including Boone County, through Thursday evening. Meanwhile, Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Missouri because of the impact that the prolonged severe heat and drought are having on both agriculture and public health.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has confirmed 25 heat-related deaths in the state, and hospital reports of over 800 heat-related emergency room visits since May 1st.