An Excessive Heat Warning issued earlier this week for Pettis County has been extended to Sunday.
The National Weather Service has extended the warning due to expected temperatures in the upper 90s through Saturday with a few locations possibly reaching the 100-degree mark Friday.
Heat indices are expected to range from 105 to 110 degrees each afternoon. Friday could see heat index values range from 110 to 115 in some locations.
The combination of very warm temperatures and high humidity will lead to oppressive conditions which could quickly lead to heat-related illnesses, according to information provided by NWS.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, heat kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a news release regarding safety precautions to remember in excessive heat situations:
• Postpone outdoor games and activities and limit exposure to the sun.
• Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine; limit alcoholic beverage intake.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
• Spend the warmest part of the day in temperature-controlled buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, or community facilities.
• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
The Humane Society of Missouri has also issued some precautions to take with pets during hot weather. HSM suggests that any time the temperature is above 70 degrees:
• Never leave a pet in an unattended car. Animals left in hot cars can die in just minutes.
• Keep your pet at home and inside, if possible. If a pet must be outside, make sure they have access to continuous shade and fresh water.
According to an OSHA news release, “the most common problem identified in heat-related deaths and illness of workers is the lack of a heat prevention and acclimatization programs by their employer, according to federal safety investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”
According to OSHA, working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees. A common symptom of heat stroke is mental changes such as confusion or irritability, while a common mistake is assuming that the worker is not at risk for heat stroke if they are still sweating — you can still be sweating and have heat stroke.
OSHA also issued tips for protecting workers from soaring temperatures. To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:
• Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
• Rest in the shade to cool down.
• Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
• Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
• Keep an eye on fellow workers.
• “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.
The risk of heat stress increases for workers 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications.
Those employed in hot indoor environments such as firefighters, bakers, factory and boiler room workers, are also at risk when temperatures rise.