People living in Southeast Texas are not strangers to high temperatures and high humidity during the summer. Residents should be aware of how to cope with these adverse conditions. Humans in this region cope with summer heat, sweating and evaporative cooling. As air becomes moist (high relative humidity), evaporation is inhibited and cooling of the body becomes a problem.
When our bodies are not able to maintain proper body temperature, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke manifest themselves.
To help the general populace quantify values for identifying this problem, the term Heat Index was developed. The Heat Index is a combination of temperature and humidity and is used to describe "how hot it feels". The Heat Index is calculated as if standing in a ventilated, shady place. The impact of prolonged exposure to Heat Indices is best expressed in a range from:
- 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F) could lead to possible fatigue
- 90 to 105 degrees F represents the possibility of heat cramps and heat exhaustion occurring
- 105 to 130 degrees F heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely, arid heat stroke is possible
- Greater than 130 degrees F is when dangerously fatal conditions exist
Some tips to help you cope with reducing potential health related problems are:
- Reduce strenuous physical activities to early morning or late afternoon
- Wear loose fitting and light colored clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Spend as much time as possible in air conditioning
Things to Remember
Remember children, the elderly, and people with chronic ailments are most at risk during periods of extreme heat. Also, don't forget your pets, ensure they have plenty of water and shade.