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Cool time to learn about hot weather safety Thursday


MADISON, WI (WSAU) - Thursday is Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin.

The forecast may only call for a high of around 74 degrees, but it’s cool to learn about the dangers of heat. Wisconsin Emergency Management has teamed up with the National Weather Service to promote community safety and health during excessive heat.

Last year, there were 24 heat related deaths in Wisconsin, and most of them during the week of July 2nd through the 6th when the heat index rose to 105 and the overnight low only dropped to 75 degrees. None of the victims had air conditioning and did not seek shelter at a cooling center.

In 2011, excessive heat claimed five lives and injured more than 100 people in Wisconsin during the July 17-21 heatwave. In 1995, two major killer heat waves affected most of Wisconsin resulting in 154 heat-related deaths and over 300 heat-related illnesses.

Summer heat waves have been the biggest weather-related killers in Wisconsin for the past 50 years, far exceeding tornadoes, severe storms and floods combined. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Older adults, infants, young children, overweight persons, and people who work outdoors are most vulnerable to heat-related illness and death.

Some medications also affect how your body can handle extreme heat, so you should ask your doctor about how medicines might change your ability to deal with the hot conditions.