It may not be hot enough to fry an egg outside, but it's undeniable that the Sunland has become extra sunny this week.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for southeast Nebraska, with temperatures peaking at 106-113 degrees.
The warning lists wearing lightweight and loose fitting clothing, rescheduling strenuous activities to the early morning or evening when possible and drinking plenty of water.
High temperatures can cause heat exhaustion resulting in fever, excessive thirst, nausea, fainting, cool and clammy skin, weakness, muscle aches and dizziness.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, where the body’s cooling system stops working. The potentially life-threatening condition is characterized by vomiting, headache, rapid heart rate, hot and dry skin, shortness of breath and decreased urination.
Captain Craig Fisher from the Beatrice Fire Department said they’ve recently responded to a call that an individual fell outside from the heat, but that that doesn’t happen very often.
“It’s not a problem, we can always come out and check up on them, make decisions from then on to see if they feel they need to be taken to the emergency room or not,” Fisher said.
Fisher said the people that are more at risk for heat exhaustion or heatstroke are the elderly, children and people with critical medical conditions that have complications with heat.
The heat also puts animals at risk. Carlee Fiddes, the shelter director at the Beatrice Humane Society, stressed that animals should only be outside for short periods of time and kept hydrated.
“If the pet can’t be brought indoors, making sure they have access to good quality, clean, temperature-appropriate water,” Fiddes said. “One thing people often forget is to check the temperature of the water. If the temperature of the water is hot, the animal is not going to drink it.”
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Fiddes said even cool summertime activities such as playing at the lake could cause an animal to become overheated.
Another source of discomfort for animals can be the pavement.
“The temperature of the pavement can sometimes be upward of 150 degrees, which is scorching hot and actually can cause burns very quickly,” Fiddes said. “So if you can’t keep your hand comfortably on the pavement for a minimum of 10 seconds, you shouldn’t be walking your pet on that pavement. In those instances, walking your pet on grass is going to be your best option.”
Fiddes said warning signs for dogs are when they’re panting excessively, even after coming inside and cooling off. For cats, if they pant at all that is a warning sign.
“If you are concerned, you should contact your pet’s veterinarian, because they’re going to be able to direct you much better than anything else,” Fiddes said.
Other ways people are beating the heat include trips to the pool or Splash Pad, eating ice cream or having air conditioners and fans at full blast.
Westlake Ace Hardware recently partnered with The Salvation Army for a fan drive, and in the span of just 18 days, $78,450 was raised equaling more than 5,700 fans given to people in need.
Westlake Ace Hardware locations throughout the country hosted fan drives by asking customers to donate to The Salvation Army from June 6-23. Westlake then turned customer’s donations into fans and chipped in an additional 575 fans for the charity.
The excessive heat warning is predicted to end at 7p.m. on Saturday, July 20.