Stay Safe in Upcoming Heat Wave

The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning from noon on Wednesday August 11 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 14. The affected area spans from Hood River to the East and North beyond Vancouver, WA through the Willamette Valley reaching Eugene. The temperatures in Corvallis and surrounding areas are expected to reach 105 F, with the hottest days being Thursday and Friday. Overnight temperatures are predicted in the 60s.  

In the extreme heat, it is advised to avoid the sun except for in the morning and to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Children and pets should not be left unattended in vehicles. Citizens are encouraged to check on at-risk neighbors and relatives. 

For those who are required to work outside, frequent breaks, increased water intake, and staying in shade in the afternoon is recommended in order to prevent heat stroke, which constitutes a medical emergency. New OSHA rules are in place to protect workers during this time. 

Heat stroke results from prolonged heat exposure, usually in combination with dehydration and manifests itself with the core body temperature reaching 104 F. In other words, it is a failure of the body’s temperature control system, and it can be fatal. 

The symptoms of heat stroke are throbbing headache, dizziness, and light-headedness, and in spite of the heat, the body remains red, hot, and dry as there is no sweating to cool it off. Cramps and muscle weakness are common, as is rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing. Nausea, vomiting and behavioral changes such as confusion, staggering, disorientation, and even seizures as well as loss of consciousness can occur.   

Calling 911 is paramount when observing someone with the above symptoms.  

Heat stroke in dogs also manifests itself in elevated temperature, 103 F or higher and it can lead to brain damage or death. For more information visit https://www.pawlicy.com/blog/heat-stroke-in-dogs/ 

Benton County has set up several cooling centers throughout the area. 

By Joanna Rosińska