People in the western U.S are facing a strong heatwave this summer with temperatures rising above 100 degrees in some areas. Heat warnings have been issued and carried out in major western states including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
In preparation for the weather the state of Las Vegas initiated setting up shelters and temporary cooling stations during the day as temperatures were predicted to soar up to 105 degrees.
Research shows extreme heat is killing Nevadans, and it’s only getting hotter
According to a study from the Nevada-based Desert Research Institute, which looked at the relationship between extreme heat and heat-related deaths in Las Vegas, the results revealed that more people are currently at risk of heat-related illnesses leading to death. The research found that from 2007-2016 deaths increased as the intensity of the heat waves of June, July, and August took place. Moreover, people who were 50 years and older were most vulnerable to heatwaves as they constituted 76% of heat-related deaths.
Protect yourself against the heat
Heat-related illnesses are attributed to overloading the body’s temperature control system. To avoid this it is best to consider staying out of the heat altogether, but if you have to deal with it then the following tips should help. Consider wearing breathable, light-coloured and lightweight fabric such as cotton. It is also crucial to stay hydrated by drinking litres of water throughout the day, avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, and hot drinks. Try eating cold food, particularly fresh salads and fruits that are high in water content. Frequent showers will also help you stay refreshed and will help bring your body temperature down.
If you find yourself in peak heat between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm remember to make sure to stay in the shade, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat to protect your head. If you happen to feel dizzy, weak, or anxious, try to immediately move to a cooler space and take your body’s temperature if possible. Heat-related illnesses possible this time around, especially for the elderly, very young, and those with mental illnesses.
Global warming signs
Extreme weather situations often bring about the question of global warming. Climate experts such as Daniel Swain suggests that we have inflicted irrevocable damage to earth’s climate due to our behaviour as he believes “extreme heat events globally have a detectable human fingerprint.” It does not come off as a surprise that recent summers have been feeling particularly hot as the last four years have been the hottest four on record globally and the trend is forecasted to continue.