Heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities each year. Heat waves have the potential to cover a large area, exposing a high number of people to a hazardous combination of heat and humidity, which can be very taxing on the body. Learn how to stay safe during a heat wave at www.weather.gov/heat
Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action! An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don’t take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Excessive Heat Watches—Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
Heat Advisory—Take Action! A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don’t take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Excessive Heat Outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead-time to prepare for the event.
While we don’t usually think of cold temperatures as a disaster, it certainly requires some planning ahead to stay safe when the mercury drops. Recently, Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp spoke with Jeff Wichman, host of “Sound Living,” about preparing for winter travel. Keeping aware of the weather forecast and assembling a winter kit and keeping it in your vehicle are two tips. For more winter travel tips, listen to the interview.
Access archived “Sound Living” weekly radio programs featuring K-State Research and Extension specialists discussing a wide range of family and consumer sciences topics, including child development, health and nutrition, personal finances, and personal relationships are available.
Ready or not, winter is on the way. As cold temperatures and snow spread across the upper Midwest into the plains this week, take action now to prepare for winter.
Don’t be caught unprepared. Gather the supplies you and your family need: shovels, blankets and clothing to stay warm, food, water, and other supplies. Check out this family supply list from ready.gov Make plans for pets and other animals in the household too.
One of the Prepare Kansas challenge tasks for this week is to review the meaning of Watch and Warning as related to weather situations.
According to the National Weather Service, “a watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.”
A warning “is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.”
Food Safey – Disasters and Power Outages
Salvaging and handling food after power outages, floods and other disasters may raise questions and present challenges. Refer to these resources to help recover food from a disaster.