JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
With the heat index on Wednesday and Thursday ranging from 100 to 110, health experts are advising people to take precautions during the heatwave.
With heat being the leading weather-related killer, MU Health Care's emergency medicine physician, Doctor Christopher Sampson, said people need to be cognizant of risks of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
"You really want to make sure before you even leave the house that you're well hydrated. If you're already thirsty, then you're behind the game and need to get some fluids in you," Sampson said.
Sampson said someone could be at risk if they're feeling dizzy, weak, or if their heart is racing. If this happens, he said the best thing to do is get out of the sunlight and into a shaded area or if possible get into the air conditioning in either a car or building.
Risks are heightened for people who are very young or very old. If someone has diabetes or is on certain types of blood pressure medication, they are likely to urinate more frequently causing them to dehydrate quicker.
Outdoor events are continuing through the heat, such as the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair.
Cole County has emergency response crews on the scene. Sheriff John Wheeler said the heat is definitely a concern.
"We are concerned about the heat. We have some first responders out there that will respond if anyone goes down so we're all working together to make sure that the people out here are safe," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said if anyone attending the event does start to feel effects from the heat, they need to find a shaded area, plus there are cooling stations set up within the fairgrounds.
Wheeler says it is important for fairgoers to avoid consuming alcohol and drink plenty of water.
Sampson says how fast you dehydrate is based on how hot it is and how fast you're exerting yourself. "When you lose as little as 2% of your body weight in sweat, you're already reaching a pretty critical point to become severely dehydrated," Sampson said.
Sampson recommends that those doing outdoor activities in the heat avoid dark-colored clothing, make sure your attire is lightweight, add on a hat to protect your face, and make sure you are wearing sunscreen.
For those who are looking for a place to sit in the air conditioning, cooling centers are open in both Jefferson City and Columbia.
- The Salvation Army - 927 Jefferson St., Jefferson City
- Missouri River Regional Library - 214 Adams St., Jefferson City
- Clarke Senior Center - 1310 Linden Dr., Jefferson City
- ARC - 1710 W. Ash St., Columbia
- Salvation Army Harbor House - 602 N. Ann St., Columbia
- St. Francis House - 901 Range Line St., Columbia
- Boone County Government Center - 801 E. Walnut St., Columbia
- Columbia/Boone County Health Department - 1005 W. Worley St.