KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday for the Kansas City area with heat index values up to 105.

Missouri is expected to maintain a heat index of 108-110 degrees through Friday. High temperatures and humidity can quickly become dangerous.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports heat is one of the most deadly weather hazards and people should not underestimate it.

Missouri health officials say heat exhaustion is the body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt contained in sweat.

Those most prone to heat exhaustion are people who are elderly, have high blood pressure, and work or exercise in hot conditions.

MDHS reports people in Missouri each year suffer from heat-related illnesses, with some cases resulting in death. During prolonged periods of high temperatures, using air conditioning – either at home or by seeking shelter in a local cooling center — is the best preventive measure.

Tips from MDHS on what to do during severe heat and heat emergencies

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the evaporation rate of perspiration. Call 211 for the nearest location of a cooling center.
  • Use exhaust fans and dehumidifiers when needed.
  • Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Drink plenty of water. Individuals with epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, who are on fluid-restricted diets, or who have problems with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunscreen.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day; use the buddy system when working in extreme heat; and take frequent breaks.

If your home is not air-conditioned, use moving air to try to beat the heat:

  • Open all windows early in the morning to get rid of heat and help cool the home.
  • Keep the house closed during the hottest part of the day. Check indoor and outdoor thermometers to make sure that the indoor temperature is still cooler than outside. Later, open up the house so the cooler night air can lower inside temperatures.
  • Use floor and ceiling fans as much as possible to circulate a cooling breeze. Also use window fans if not using air conditioning.
  • Sleep in a cooler part of the residence, such as lower floors or the basement.
  • Take showers and baths early in the morning or late at night.
  • Use appliances and equipment that give off heat (iron, light bulbs, clothes dryer, hair dryer, etc.) only as needed and limit use to the early morning or at night, not during the middle of the day.
  • Slow down and avoid physical exertion to avoid heat stress.
  • Listen to radio and television for discomfort index warnings and keep in touch with others every day.
  • If the residence becomes too warm, try to be in a cooler place during the hottest part of the day – a friend’s or neighbor’s home, a cooling center, senior center, shopping mall or library.

Check the state health department’s map to locate a cooling center in Missouri.

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