QUINCY —Summer is giving residents in the area a sneak peak this weekend before the season’s first full day on Monday.
Temperatures over the next few days will be climbing into the upper 90s, with the heat index reaching for triple digits. It’s a weather pattern that’s unusual so early in the year, and for those who aren’t prepared for it, it can lead to dangerous situations.
Jaryn Black is a nurse practitioner in the emergency department at Blessing Hospital. She said the people most at risk from the heat are those at either end of the age spectrum — the elderly and the very young — along with those who may have medical conditions that can cause or be trigged by dehydration.
Black said signs to watch for with heat-related illness would be a person getting dizzy, headaches, or vomiting. She said if a person is unable to cool down themselves, or if the symptoms are severe, they may need to seek medical attention.
“Wearing loose, lightweight clothing is one way to prevent heat issues,” Black said. “Staying hydrated with water or sports drinks, anything that’s low in sugar, and with little or no caffeine, will help, as well.”
She added that the best thing, if possible, is to avoid being outside on days with extreme heat.
“If you have to go out or you have to work in the heat, make sure you can easily get to someplace cooled or shaded when you need to.”
While the National Weather Service has not issued any heat advisories at this time for the region, residents should keep in mind that both the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center and the YMCA facilities may be available for cooling centers. Both facilities typically open as cooling centers when excessive heat advisories or warnings are issued.
Beginning this week, the Salvation Army in Quincy and Hannibal have their fan distribution program running, while supplies last. If you’re in need of a fan, you should take a photo ID to the local Salvation Army Family Services Center to apply for the program.