GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - High temperatures Monday through Wednesday of this week will range from 90 to 95 degrees, the hottest stretch of temperatures in West Michigan since July of last summer.
High dew point values in the mid and upper 60s this week will push the heat indices (the 'feels-like' temperature) from 95 to 100 degrees.
More Americans suffer heat-related deaths each year than from any other weather disaster. Many heat-caused fatalities are elderly folks who do not have access to air conditioning or a cooling center. Heat stroke and dehydration are also far more likely during heat waves.
During 2011, there were three heat-related deaths in Michigan, according to the National Weather Service, but the heat caused many more minor ailments and illnesses.
When it comes to staying safe, beating the heat can be quite simple if you follow these steps:
- If you don't have air conditioning, get to a place that does. During the day, that could be a mall, or a coffee shop, or even a library or other public building.
At night, have fans blowing to move heat away from your body, or stay at a family member or friend's house that does have air conditioning. A basement or lowest level will almost always be the coolest part of the home.
- A cool bath or shower can also help lower your body temperature.
- If you have elderly neighbors, check on them often. An offer to stay at your air-conditioned house could be a lifesaver.
- Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and keep hydrated. Drink water and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Young children should avoid the sun as much as possible during heat waves.
- Keep your pets and animals safe. During heat waves, your pet's natural cooling system works less efficiently, too. Pets need shade and fresh, cool water. If you see pets or animals that are being neglected to the point where their safety is in danger, contact your local animal control.
- Never leave a person or animal in a parked vehicle since heat will build rapidly. It is easy to get sidetracked and forget how hot vehicles' interiors will become.
You can contact the Red Cross for help if you need it:
- In Grand Rapids: 616.456.8661
- In Kalamazoo: 269.353.6180
- In Battle Creek: 269.962.7528
Here are some more helpful links to stay safe:
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