Dangerous heat has arrived

According to the National Weather Service, dangerous heat is building over in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, including Johnson County. Extreme heat can be dangerous. In fact, it’s the number one weather-related killer in the United States ahead of floods and tornadoes.

On June 12, the weather service issued an excessive heat advisory for Johnson and other counties today through possibly the evening of Wednesday, June 16. The weather service expects daytime max heat index values around 105°F each day and overnight lows over 75°F each morning.

Johnson County Government has launched a new webpage on jocogov.org, that offers details on how to stay cool and avoid heat-related illness. Should there be any Johnson County program or service impacts, on the webpage, those details will also be available. 

On the new webpage, among other information, learn about cooling centers. Anyone who needs a place to cool down is encouraged to visit one of the Johnson County Library’s 14 branches. Libraries offer many services in addition to a cool place to rest and restore. You can read books, magazines and newspapers, access the internet–including a wide variety of eResources–or participate in a virtual event. Library hours vary by location. Call 913-826-4600 to check hours of operation for your nearest library branch or visit the Library website

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recommends the following to stay safe in the heat: 

  • Exercise in an air-conditioned place and drink two-to-four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. 
  • Regardless of your activity level, drink more non-alcoholic fluids. Check with your doctor if you have restrictions related to fluid intake. 
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, take a cool shower, or place cool towels on the neck, arm pits and head. It is recommended to go somewhere cool if possible — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. 
  • Do not use a fan as your primary source of cooling. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when temperatures are in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. 
  • Never leave children, pets or others alone in a closed vehicle. Within minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach over 140°F, and this can be deadly within minutes.
  • If you must be out in the heat: 
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours 
    • Try to rest often in shady areas
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing 
    • Protect yourself from the sun by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses 

Although anyone can suffer at any time from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Be sure to on check regularly on your neighbors, friends and relatives at least twice a day (morning and night): 

  • People aged 65 or older 
  • People taking certain medications, including narcotics, sedatives and diuretics 
  • Athletes who are not used to working out in warm environments 
  • People who work outside 
  • People who have a mental illness or are physically ill, especially with heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes 
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