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Keeping Cool in Extreme Heat

2011 August 12

By Alex Gorsky

I am lucky enough to be able to know my grandparents. My maternal grandmother lives in Florida while my dad’s parents live in the same town that I do. I get to see them all fairly often when I am not in school and they always want to know what I have been up to and what I plan on doing with my life. I tell them I am not quite sure but that I am interested in the environmental field. When I told them that I was going to be working for the Environmental Protection Agency they were happy for me. Even better, I was going to be working on the Aging Initiative, and would give them information about staying healthy in today’s environmentally conscious world.

One day I called up my grandmother in Florida and we began to talk about our summers, how hot it was, and her preparing for the hurricane season. As we’re talking about it, it struck me odd as to how much preparation there is before hurricane season, but practically no one pays attention to or adequate preparation is given for extreme heat events. An extreme heat event is when the temperature reaches at least 10˚ F above the region’s average high temperature. For example in Tampa, Florida it would be over 100˚ F and in Chicago it would be anything over 91˚ F Extreme heat events kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. All around the country this summer people have been experiencing extreme heat events. Fortunately, my grandparents have air conditioning, which is the best thing to use to prevent hospitalization due to exposure to excessive heat.

Unfortunately there are many people who live without air conditioning in areas with excessive heat. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent heat stroke and other illnesses caused by extreme heat events. You can visit an air-conditioned building in your neighborhood like a senior center, movie theater, or library. You could also take a cool shower. Drinking lots of fluids, not only when you are thirsty, is another easy way to prevent heat stroke.

Hopefully you will pass this information on to your grandparents too.

About the author: Alex Gorsky is an intern in the Office of Public Engagement. He is a senior at Beloit College majoring in Environmental Studies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    August 12, 2011

    God Bless America !!!

    Sometimes I greatly amazed when I watched weather forecast in TV about it in U.S. In fact, Extreme heat events kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. However, the people be able to take it there. God seem to examine the people and how their reactions about that. And you are strongest be up against all disasters. Congratulations…..!

  2. faisal permalink
    August 13, 2011

    I must appreciate you for the information you have shared.

  3. roger permalink
    August 14, 2011

    that heat wave in pgh was so serious that i had my ac on and my fan blowing the air from the act to me like it was crazy i never seen that heat temp on the bank sign hit 99 then say neg lol and that was in the evening like 6 pm i dont ever want to go threw that again

  4. D.B. Lloyd permalink
    August 19, 2011

    Speaking as a Central Fl native of over 45 years, a postal carrier of over 37 years, and an avid Fl golfer I can agree with the good points made concerning dealing with extreme heat. It’s very important that extra care is taken to prepare for extreme heat and know how to pace oneself during outdoor activities. How Fl. natives got by before air conditioning is a testament to the hardiness of folks in years past. Fact is, because of air conditioning, our countries’ demographics would not be what they are today. Miami, Tampa, Orlando, the big cities in Texas, and all the big cities in the southwest would not be as populated as they are without air conditioning. Yet despite the advantages of air conditioning not all can afford it, which is a life-threatening proposition for the elderly. Lets all be conscious of those around us in need and avoid the tragedies the extreme heat can create.

  5. I must appreciate you for the information you have shared.I find this information very useful and it has considerably saved my time.thanks:﹋) Replica watches permalink
    November 21, 2011

    I must appreciate you for the information you have shared.I find this information very useful and it has considerably saved my time.thanks:﹋)

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