The extreme heat cooking the southwest U.S. over the last month is about to head east. That’s the latest forecast this week, and now FEMA is reminding everyone to be careful in the summer heat.
Record temperatures could be reported later this week in places like Nebraska and Wyoming. From there, the heat will move into the Midwest to the southern tip of Florida.
Similar to what various U.S. National Parks are saying as they experience the full power of the desert sun, FEMA officials are warning people to limit their time outdoors.
Unfortunately, many national parks, from Death Valley to Big Bend and the Grand Canyon, have seen several deaths this year due to the conditions. In all, at least four deaths have occurred in parks since the beginning of June due to the heat.
According to a press release from FEMA, people should follow these recommendations to stay safe in the heat while they’re at home:
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but they do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Roughly 40% of unwanted heat buildup in our homes is through windows. Use awnings, curtains, or other window coverings to keep the heat out, and check the weather stripping on doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, along with a hat and sunscreen when outdoors.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
Officials believe 2023 may go down as the fourth hottest year ever recorded, but with El Nino conditions, the temperature could rise even hotter, setting even more records.
Even the White House is responding to the extreme temperatures, highlighting the temperatures and its ties with the climate crisis. The statement outlines plans to combat the heat with new research to make communities more resilient against the heat and meet with local leaders on actions to protect citizens.
The U.S. is not alone on the high temperatures this summer, as parts of Europe are also setting records. Multiple countries are also battling wildfires that have been made worse by heat.