Heat Warnings: The Silent Killer
The NOAA National Weather Service releases heat warnings when temperatures or heat indexes reach critical levels. Keeping safe while having fun in the sun is critical to beach goers.
On the hidden beaches of Oak Island, tourists are playing in the water and soaking up some much deserved vacation sun. The Oak Island pier is packed with anglers hoping to pull in that next big catch and boats can be seen from the shore sands spraying water left and right. Summer time is here and this relatively small community loves every moment of it. Recent heat related warnings, however, might put a damper on that beach side fun.
With heat indexes reaching well over 105 degrees at least five days in the past month, beach goers need to protect themselves from the potential heat related illnesses that come with increased temperatures and humidity. Unlike drier parts of the United States where 90 degrees feels like 90 degrees, humidity can increase how hot the air feels. With projected temperatures in the 90s and high relative humidity, Oak Island and other parts of North Carolina are seeing heat index warnings.
The NOAA National Weather Service has issued warnings for the area with potential “real feel” temperatures reaching 114 degrees or more. When heat advisories go into effect, tourists and locals need to heed warnings associated with the advisory. Heat related illness has been responsible for at least 2,370 deaths between 1994 and 2003, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. Deaths from floods, lightning, and tornadoes combined did not reach this number in the same 10-year period.
Heeding a Heat Warning – Err on the Side of Caution
When a heat warning or advisory goes into effect, staying indoors or traveling to an air-conditioned business is the best option. Temperatures can rise dramatically in just one hour. A video published on the NOAA National Weather Service website shows temperature progression within a period less than an hour from 94.3 degrees to 120 degrees.
Infants, children, older adults, and pets are more susceptible to the effects of heat than any other portion of the population. Cars increase the chance of suffering from heat related illness or death. When temperatures outside a car reach the one teens, inside the car temperatures can quickly top 150 degrees or more.
Experts suggesting drinking plenty of water, wearing sunscreen, and resting in the shade often if attending outdoor activities during a heat advisory. If there are no places to hide from the sun, make a quick appearance and head off to somewhere cool for the day.