Heat wave survival:
A little more than a year ago, the Mid-Ohio Valley was facing high heat and humidity while many had no power after a summer storm, and the problem wasn’t just in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 32 heat-related deaths in Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia when temperatures in some places topped out at 104 degrees during the period of June 30 to July 13, 2012. During that same period, about 3.8 million people were out of power for at least eight days.
The CDC also recently reported about 7,000 people each year go to the emergency room for heat-related illnesses. However, most of those patients are 19 or younger.
Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.
Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations for the Memorial Health System, said the emergency room hasn’t seen any incidents of heat illnesses this summer.
“If you work in the heat or are out in it for leisure (activities), you want to be smart,” Offenberger said. “Take precautions when you work in heat and can’t avoid it: wear light colored or loose-fitting clothing, take frequent breaks and watch for symptoms.”
Offenberger advises if someone shows symptoms such as disorientation, confusion, seizures, high body temperature, nausea or vomiting, weakness, generally not feeling well and thirst, that person needs to get immediate medical attention.
Steve DePuy, 43, of Cleveland, is foreman with Buxton Roofing, based in North Canton. The company is replacing the roof on Marietta City Hall, and DePuy makes sure his crews takes care of themselves as the heat builds on those rooftops.
“Start early at the crack of dawn and try not to eat lunch in the air conditioning,” DePuy said.
He makes sure his crew members drink plenty of water, too. Plenty of fruits and vegetables won’t hurt, either, he said.
The National Research Council of Canada found an exposed roof can get as hot as 158 degrees on a sunny day.
“When our crews are out working, they keep well hydrated,” said Cheryl Crum, assistant manager at Thomson’s Landscaping and Garden Center near Reno. “We supply ice, and they fill their water jugs before they leave the store. Our guys know their limits. Light-colored clothing also is a big benefit.”