Heat can kill. Hundreds of people die from extreme heat events each year in the United States. That’s why Governor Scott Walker has declared Thursday, June 9, as Heat Awareness Day. Lincoln County Emergency Management and the Lincoln County Health Department are reminding people of the dangers associated with extreme heat.
“As temperatures increase over the summer months, it’s important that Lincoln County residents take appropriate precautions,” says Kristin Bath, Health Educator and Preparedness Coordinator for the Lincoln County Health Department. “Lincoln County has a higher rate of emergency room visits due to heat stress than the Wisconsin average.” Lincoln County’s rate is 25.6 per 100,000, and Wisconsin’s rate is 18.4 per 100,000.
Jeff Kraft, Lincoln County Emergency Manager, states that “Heat related illness and deaths are preventable; it’s important that people are aware of who is at greater risk and what preventive steps can be taken.”
Remember these tips:
- Stay Cool: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
- Stay Informed: Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely when it’s hot outside. Watch for any extreme heat alerts.
People at higher risk of a heat-related illness include:
- Infants and young children
- People 65 years of age and older
- People with chronic medical conditions
- Outdoor workers
Where you are most at risk:
- Homes with little or no air conditioning
Many victims of heat-related deaths are socially isolated, maintaining little contact with family and friends. This is why it is important to check in on family, friends, and neighbors during extreme heat. Those most vulnerable include very young children, the elderly, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure. Individuals who are on certain medications may also be more susceptible to illnesses during extreme heat events.
Lincoln County has a number of businesses that are designated as cooling centers during periods of extreme heat. These centers are a great place for people to get some relief from the heat. Click here for a list of cooling centers in Lincoln County. For more information contact Lincoln County Emergency Management at 715 536-6228 or Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307.