For the final day of Severe Weather Awareness Week, we're focusing on extreme heat. Minnesota may be known for it's dangerously cold winters, but our summers can get dangerously hot as well.
Extreme heat causes the third greatest number of weather-related fatalities in Minnesota, and the greatest number in Wisconsin. However, heat-related deaths are preventable! It's important to know the signs of heat disorders, and how to keep your self safe during the summer months.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur when the body is unable to shed excess heat and your core temperature begins to rise. If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms, they should get to a cool place as soon as possible, drink lots of water, and take a cold shower. If someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 9-1-1 as they may need an IV or other medical attention.
During days of extreme heat, try to stay inside as much as possible, make sure to stay hydrated with water, and avoid alcoholic beverages. If you do need to be outside, take breaks to cool down inside and protect yourself from the sun with high SPF sunblock. Keep your pets in mind, make sure they're getting plenty of water and have access to a cool and shady place.
Throughout the summer, it's important to never leave kids or pets in closed vehicles. Even if you don't think it's hot outside, the temperature inside your car can become deadly very quickly. Last year alone, 51 children died of heat stroke while locked inside vehicles.