Des Moines, Iowa – Heat can be a tremendous threat in Iowa and it’s one of the country’s top weather-related killers. Last year, 94 people died from the extreme heat, more than twice the 45 deaths the previous year. Thursday is Heat Awareness Day. Meteorologist Kelsey Angle, at the National Weather Service, says it’s vital to stay aware of the forecast and take precautions for a heat wave just as you would for an approaching blizzard.
Iowans need to take care of themselves if they plan to be outside for any period of time during a heat wave, especially if they’re exerting themselves.
Every summer, children and animals die or are hospitalized from being left unattended in a hot car.
On warmer days, temps inside the vehicle can quickly reach 160 degrees. Children are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death because their bodies generate more heat due to their size. Their ability to sweat to cool themselves down isn’t as fully developed as adults. Animals, too, can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation from being left in a hot vehicle. During extreme heat, check in on your neighbors, make sure your pets and livestock have adequate shade and water, and keep up with the changing forecast.
For more information, visit www.weather.gov.