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How to prepare for extreme heat, humidity in Quad Cities

The Quad Cities area is under a heat advisory for the first half of the work week. Here's some tips on how to prepare and recognize heat-related symptoms.

MOLINE, Ill. — Editor's Note: The video shown above aired on July 27, 2021.

This week will be a sizzling one as we are under a heat advisory until 8 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service issues a heat advisory when heat indexes are between 100 to 110 degrees, and a heat warning when heat indexes are above 110.

Preparing for the extreme heat

Do not solely rely on a fan for relief from the heat. They create an airflow, however they do not reduce body temperatures or prevent heat-related illnesses. If you do not have access to air conditioning make sure you know areas within the community that you can go to, such as a library or cooling centers that have been appointed by the city to get a break from the heat. Quick hacks you can do around your house to help reduce the heat are covering windows with drapes or shades, using weather strips in windows and doors to keep the heat from creeping in and using window reflectors that are designed to reflect heat back outside. Another, more expensive, measure you can have in the house to help is adding insulation to keep heat out, using a powered attic ventilator or attic fan to clear hot air out of the attic, and installing window conditioners and insulating around them.

Heat Safety Tips

The best thing to do during extreme heat and humidity is to stay hydrated. Reduce your time outside especially during peak hours noon to 4 p.m. If you have pets and watering plants, it's best to take care of them early in the morning or late in the evening. It is also best to limit outdoor activities to these times as well. You will want to stay out of the sun as much as possible if you have a job where you are outside taking breaks from the heat by going inside or getting in a shaded area. Wear loose, lightweight and colored clothing, and a hat that protects your face from the sun. Look before you lock your car doors to make sure there are no pets or people in the car. If you are wearing a mask, make sure it has breathable fabric.

Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most common heat-related illnesses. Signs of heat exhaustion are feeling faint or dizzy, experiencing excessive sweating, having cool/pale/clammy skin, having a rapid weak pulse, and experiencing muscle cramps. If you are experiencing these symptoms get to a cool or conditioned place, drink water if conscious, take a cool shower, or use a cool compress. Signs of heat stroke is having a throbbing headache, not sweating, having red/hot/dry skin, having a rapid strong pulse, losing consciousness. If experiencing any of these symptoms call 911.

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