The Dangers of The Heat Waves
Two people have already lost their lives as a result of the heat, and because the humidity in the air is much reduced, the experience to the heat is more intense as well. The city is not experiencing a heat wave yet, because accordingly to the National Weather Service, a heat wave can be declared only when the temperature has exceeded 32 degrees for three consecutive days. Others believe that a heat wave can be declared when there is a prolonged period of excessive heat and humidity. It is kind of difficult to describe the phenomenon, but the fact is that the heat waves can be deadly.
The deadly heat waves are nothing new; in fact they occur each year all over the globe. For example in the United Sates of America, more than 20,000 people have lost their lives between 1936 and 1975 by the effects of the heat waves. More than 1,250 people died because of the 1980 heat wave and about 700 people died in the heat wave that struck Chicago in 1995. The reason why the heat waves are so dangerous is because of the heat, humidity, and haze. When these three affect the body, hyperthermia can occur. Hyperthermia occurs when the people take too much heat that they can dissipate.
In order to dissipate the heat, the body varies the rate and depth of the blood circulation and of the sweating. 90 percent of the heat dissipated from the body is dissipated through the skin through perspiration. Sweating alone can not cool the body because in order for sweating to be effective, evaporation must occur. Since the heat waves are characterized through high humidity, evaporation can not occur and as a result the body does not have the capacity of lowering its temperature. The very young and the elderly are the most susceptible to dying in the case of a heat wave, but even the healthy people can die as well. The obese persons and the ones who suffer from certain illnesses such as heart related ones have very high chances of dying as well.
The heat waves are very dangerous in the urban areas because the air pollution is trapped, and as a result the areas get heated very fast. The people who suffer from asthma could develop certain complications such as heat-related illnesses. One such illness is the heat stroke. The heat stroke can occur for different reasons. Sitting too much in the sunlight, or performing demanding physical activities in hot environments, might cause heat strokes. The most common symptoms associated with the heat strokes are vomiting, confusion, red skin, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Marilyn J. Heine, M.D., an emergency physician in Bucks County and a member of the Pennsylvania Medical Society stated that the heat strokes do not occur because of an accident. She stated that the condition can easily be avoided and that in many of the cases, the people are responsible for developing the heat strokes. She stated that people should use their common sense in dealing with these situations. She stated that they should drink lots of water, and should stay inside when the temperatures are too high. Alcohol or coffee should be avoided because they can dehydrate the body very fast. The people can be affected by the heat even when they are inside, and while they are at home they should keep the windows open, or they should turn the air conditioner on.
The heat is present in the cities much longer than in the rural areas. The reason for this is that the asphalt gets heated much faster and it releases the heat during nighttime. Because of this, the temperatures during night are very high, which is called the “urban heat island effect”. It is extremely effective to stay cool during the heat waves. Whether you stay at home, or whether you go to cool places, you should not stay in the sun. There are very high chances that you will find cooling centers in the city, which are designed to protect the people from heat. If you are in the proximity of such a place, and if you believe that you are affected by the heat, then you must go inside.
You should slow down and perform the activities that you have to perform with lots of calm. If it is possible, you should reschedule their activities when the periods are cooler such as during the evening, or very early in the morning. You should also always dress accordingly to the temperature. Even if you do not like to wear T-shirts or short pants, make sure that the clothes you wear are very thin and can keep you cool. Always drink water or any other fluids, expect coffee and alcohol beverages. You should consume them even when you are not thirsty, in fact you should never feel thirsty at all. Do not stay too much in the sun; because if you are sun burnt it will be much more difficult for the body to dissipate the heat.
Because of the global warming and of the climate change, it is estimated that the temperatures will continue to grow in the future years. The city officials should make the cities greener, whether by planting trees, or by adopting new methods of obtaining the energy. There are numerous methods of going green nowadays, such as using different energy sources, of suing green products for various tasks, and so on. The cities which have high amounts of aerosols in the atmosphere experience storms much more frequently than the other cities. Changes need to be done regarding the situation and they need to be done very soon.11