6/17/24 - Heat Dome To Impact Midwest/Michigan This Week

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Michigan will be impacted by a Heat Advisory this week and we are encouraged to stay cool and check in on family and neighbors.

LANSING, Mich.   (Press Release) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer is joining the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Michigan State Police (MSP) in urging Michigan residents to take precautions to keep themselves safe during forecasted high heat and humidity next week. 

 

“As temperatures rise, Michiganders must take precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, especially the elderly and those with health conditions,” said Governor Whitmer. “The next week will be very hot, and I encourage everyone to review the tips below to stay cool. Let’s work together to support each other through this heatwave.”

 

The National Weather Service is expecting hot and humid conditions for at least three to six days next week. Hottest days are expected to be Monday through Sunday with high temperatures in the 90s with heat index values near and above 100 degrees.

 

Protect Yourself from Heat Injury

When it is very hot, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If not treated, heat exhaustion can worsen and cause heat stroke or death.

 

Humidity can make temperatures feel even hotter. High temperatures plus high humidity are more dangerous because these conditions make it harder for the body to sweat and cool itself down. In addition to the daily temperature, residents should pay attention to the daily heat index, which gives a more accurate picture of how hot it feels outside.

To stay healthy when it is hot, residents are encouraged to:

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning. 
  • Check to make sure your air conditioner filters are clean and the unit is working properly. 
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.
  • Check on neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in cars, even with the windows cracked.

 

“Michigan residents can take steps to protect themselves from heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance. Limit time in heat, stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight and find somewhere with air conditioning or take cool showers. Call 211 or contact your local health department to locate a cooling center in your area.”

Heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and can result in death if not treated promptly.  If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 911 for immediate medical help and try to cool the person down by moving to a cooler environment and using cool cloths or a cool bath. 

Both heat exhaustion and heatstroke are forms of heat-related illness. Signs of heat-related illness vary but may include:

  • Heavy sweating.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Weakness.
  • Confusion.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fainting.
  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees).
  • Tiredness.

 

Protect Your Community

While anyone’s health can be impacted, those most at risk includes those without access to cooling or adequate hydration. Additional high-risk groups include: pregnant people, older people, children, people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease, those on certain medications such as certain antipsychotics, certain antidepressants and diuretics, people who live alone, and those who may be more exposed to heat including: outdoor workers, low-income individuals and people who exercise outside. 

 

“High heat and humidity can put additional stress on the body, which could potentially be life-threatening,” said Col. James F. Grady II, director of the Michigan State Police. “We’re asking people to drink plenty of water, check on neighbors and never leave anyone or an animal in an unattended vehicle.”

 

Air Quality

EGLE urges Michiganders to stay informed when air quality advisories or alerts are issued. Ozone, one of the most widespread pollutants in America, is a dangerous smog caused by emissions from mobile and stationary sources. It’s also most common during warmer temperatures.

 

“High temperatures outside are sometime linked to elevated levels of pollutants like ozone. It is important for Michiganders to be aware when air quality triggers alerts,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “People can help protect themselves and reduce pollutants by staying informed of changing air quality conditions. We urge everyone to become familiar with our notification system and pay attention to air quality alerts to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

 

The Air Quality Index (AQI), which can be found on the AirNow website, is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. Higher AQI values indicate there is a higher concentration of pollutants in the air and a need for Michiganders to take steps to protect their health.

 

Residents can also sign up for the EnviroFlash System. This subscriber system allows you to get advisories and alerts for the area you choose and send them directly to your email or through a text message.

 

During a poor air quality day, take action to protect your health based on the AQI Index. Some recommendations may include:

  • Reduce the time you are active outdoors.
  • Consider less intense activities that require less physical exertion.
  • If ozone levels are unhealthy, schedule outdoor activities for the morning or evening when ozone levels are usually lower.

 

Use Energy Wisely

“We encourage Michiganders to use energy wisely and in a way that prioritizes safety from extreme temperatures during periods of high heat which can stress the power grid,” said Michigan Public Service Commissioner Alessandra Carreon. “Simple steps — turning up the temperature on your home air conditioning a few degrees while still ensuring your comfort, using zoned AC when possible to cool only the spaces you are occupying, making sure your windows are closed when your AC is on, doing laundry or running the dishwasher during morning or late evening hours, limiting use of the oven — can all help make sure there’s enough electricity for everyone during periods of high energy demand and, very importantly, keep you safe.”

 

Tips to beat the heat and save

  • Close curtains and shades on windows during the day to keep the sun from heating the inside of your home.
  • During moderate temperatures, use fans and open windows.
  • Set your air conditioner to a comfortable temperature – many consider 78 a good setting – and set it higher during the hours when you’re not home. 
  • Make sure you keep your AC system free of leaves and other debris, have the system serviced regularly, replace your air filter monthly or as needed, and shut off vents to unused or unoccupied rooms to help reduce your cooling costs.
  • Consider serving cool foods like sandwiches, salads and cold side dishes so you don’t have to use your oven or stove when it’s excessively hot outside or using a crock pot or outdoor grill. But if you do cook in the kitchen, use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out.
  • Use dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers and other energy-intensive appliances during the morning or later in the evening to help reduce stress on the electric grid during the hottest daytime hours. The state’s two largest electric utilities, DTE Electric and Consumers Energy, institute higher rates during summertime peak weekday hours, so customers who use energy-intensive appliances during morning or late evening hours will pay less to use them.

 

For those without access to air conditioning, call 211 or contact your local health department to find out if there is a cooling center nearby. You can also spend some time at an air-conditioned store, shopping mall or other public building – even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help.

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