Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. On average, excessive heat claims more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.
Heat disorders generally have to do with a reduction or collapse of the body's ability to shed heat by circulatory changes and sweating or a chemical (salt) imbalance caused by too much sweating.
When the body heats to quickly to cool itself safely, or when you lose much fluid or salt through dehydration or sweating, your body temperature rises and heat-related illness may develop.
Studies indicate that, other things being equal, the severity of heat disorders tend to increase with age. Conditions that cause heat cramps in a 17-year-old may result in heat exhaustion in someone 40, and heat stroke in a person over 60.
Sunburn, with its ultraviolet radiation burns, can significantly retard the skin's ability to shed excess heat.
Children, Adults and Pets Enclosed in Parked Vehicles Are at Great Risk
Each year children die from hyperthermia as a result of being left in parked vehicles. Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, adults and pets. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. Hyperthermia deaths aren't confined to summer months. They also happen during the spring and fall.
HEAT ADVISORY PRODUCTS
Excessive Heat Outlooks: are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead time to prepare for the event, such as public utilities, emergency management and public health officials.
Excessive Heat Watches: are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 12 to 48 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased, but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain. A Watch provides enough lead time so those who need to prepare can do so, such as cities who have excessive heat event mitigation plans.
Excessive Heat Warnings/Advisories: are issued when an excessive heat event is expected in the next 36 hours. These products are issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. The warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant discomfort or nconvenience and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to life and/or property.
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