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Heat expected to crank up in Berks

For Mark Kennedy, a heat wave isn’t such an uncomfortable thing.

Kennedy of Allentown is used to being around temperatures of 2,100 degrees as a glassblower working at a furnace in the Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown.

A summer heat wave is a relative concept to glassblower Mark Kennedy of Allentown, working at a furnace on Tuesday to heat glass to 2,100 degrees in the Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Mark Kennedy of Allentown heats glass to 2,100 degrees in the Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

For the rest of us, the uncomfortable outdoor temperatures we’ve experienced so far this week are going to get worse as the excessive heat watch continues through Sunday.

AccuWeather is forecasting a high Thursday of 93 before a scorching 97-degree high on Friday. The high rolls back slightly to 94 and 95 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Coping

Heat is more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly, especially for older adults, the very young and those with chronic medical conditions.

Last year, some 2,300 heat-related deaths occurred. To help stay safe, the American Red Cross recommends that people take three steps:

• Slow down by postponing or limiting outdoor activities, including strenuous exercise. If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks and avoid the hottest part of the day by scheduling tasks earlier or later. Hot cars can be deadly — never leave children or pets in your vehicle alone.

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. Check that animals also have access to plenty of fresh water and shade.

• Spend time indoors in an air-conditioned place. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public library, shopping mall or a public cooling center. Check on loved ones and neighbors who may be at risk and do not have air conditioning to make sure they are safe.

Danger signs

The Red Cross continues:

Heat cramps are an early sign of trouble and include heavy sweating with muscle pains or spasms.

To help, move the person to a cooler place and encourage them to drink water or a sports drink. Get medical help if symptoms last longer than an hour or if the person has heart problems.

Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition signaled by heavy sweating; cool, pale and clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; or a headache, dizziness or passing out.

To help, move the person to a cooler place, loosen tight clothing, encourage them to sip water slowly. Use wet cloths, misting or fanning to help cool them off. Get medical help right away if symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour, or if they begin vomiting or acting confused.

Heat stroke is a deadly condition that requires immediate medical help. Symptoms include a high body temperature; hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast or strong pulse; a headache or dizziness; or nausea, confusion and passing out. Call 911 right away if you think someone may have heat stroke. After calling 911, move the person to a cool place and use wet cloths, misting or fanning to help cool them off. Do not give the person anything to drink.

Heat can make anyone ill, but older adults, the very young, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions are more at risk. People who work outdoors, have limited personal resources and live in places that lack green spaces are also at higher risk.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for real-time weather alerts and heat safety information. Content is available in English and Spanish. Find both apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Pet safety

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County’s Code Red for Reading continues through Saturday.

It will be in effect Thursday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Owners and caretakers of dogs in Reading must keep them indoors except for supervised bathroom breaks and exercise because of the temperatures that are forecast. The measure was added to the city code in 2015.

Noncompliance can result in the animal being removed by an animal control officer from the property and impounded at the ARL in Cumru Township.

Owners would have 48 hours after the Code Red has been lifted to pick up their dogs, and will be subject to applicable boarding fees.

Anyone witnessing an unsupervised dog left outside in Reading during those hours should call the ARL at 610-373-8830.

A summer heat wave is a relative concept to glassblower Mark Kennedy of Allentown, working at a furnace on Tuesday to heat glass to 2,100 degrees in the Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Glassblower Mark Kennedy’s project takes shape in the Taylor Backes glass studio in Boyertown. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Coming up

AccuWeather’s forecast:

• Thursday: High of 93, plenty of sunshine, hot and humid; check on sensitive groups and those without air conditioning.

• Friday: High of 97, mostly sunny, very hot and humid; a thunderstorm in spots late in the afternoon; stay hydrated with temperatures remaining dangerously high.

• Saturday: High of 94, hot with times of sun and clouds; widely separated afternoon thunderstorms; the heat will be dangerous, especially for those without air conditioning.

• Sunday: High of 95, hot with partial sunshine; a couple of afternoon thunderstorms.

• Monday: High of 92, breezy and hot with intervals of clouds and sunshine; a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon.

• Tuesday: High of 88, mostly sunny and less humid.

• Wednesday: High of 99, very hot with intervals of clouds and sunshine.


Source: Berkshire mont

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