"What! That's ridiculous!" you say.

It is HOT out here folks.

I would like to remind everyone to carry an adequate amount of fresh drinking water while travelling in Imperial Valley and Southern Arizona. Temperatures are around 118 degrees F., and if vehicle problems arise while travelling in the desert, water will quickly become your number one priority. Temperatures can reach into the 122 degree range quite quickly. Temperatures on the desert floor can be as high as 160 to 180 degrees. This is a killer, so use extreme caution. Carry at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. Plan ahead. Before you leave, let a responsible party know where you are going, approximately how long it will take to reach your destination, and be sure to call that party when you arrive. Develop a plan that will go into effect if you DO NOT arrive by a specified time. If you do have vehicle trouble while travelling in the desert, DO NOT leave your vehicle. Pull well off the road. Stay in the vehicle, raise the hood and open all the doors and windows to enhance circulation. Cover the front and rear windows to provide additional shade in the vehicle and use whatever communications devices you may have to call for help, amateur radio, CB, cellular phone, whatever. Treat the situation as an emergency. A couple of hours in 120 plus degree heat will quickly deplete what water and strength you have, not to mention the terrible problems it will cause small children and the elderly. DO NOT waste precious drinking water on an overheated vehicle. Keep your family and friends safe. PLAN your trip into the desert. Be aware of where you are. It is extremely hot out here, and can be very dangerous for the foolhardy. +-+ Extreme Heat is a daily risk for desert dwellers. Are You At Risk? Extreme heat is more than an issue of discomfort. It forces the body into overdrive as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation. People in urban areas are at greater risk because the stagnant atmospheric conditions trap pollutants in the air, which, when breathed can trigger respiratory problems for many people. The effects of extreme heat can undermine your physical well- being so slowly and subtly that the dangers aren't apparent until it's too late. Do you know what a Heat Advisory means? In regions of low humidity, the most common human response to extreme heat is dehydration. Exposed to direct sunlight and temperatures in excess of 90F, a human can lose as much as half a gallon of water every ten minutes, and this dehydration can seriously interfere with one's internal thermostat. Heat-Related Illnesses No matter where you live, it is important to recognize the real dangers of extreme heat and take action to offset its impact at its earliest stages. The gradual nature of extreme heat's effects on the body make it important that you be aware of the following heat-related illnesses: Severe Sunburn -so much more than a dermatologic issue, sunburn reduces the skin's ability to release excess heat, making the body more susceptible to heat-related illness. Heat Cramps -muscle pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion, which triggers loss of water through heavy perspiration. These usually involve the muscles of the abdomen or legs. Heat Exhaustion -a mild form of shock marked by heavy sweating, weakness, cold, clammy skin, a weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. This usually occurs when people have been exercising heavily or working in a warm humid place. The blood flow to the skin increases -in an attempt to cool the body -causing the blood flow to the vital organs to decrease. If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen; the body temperature will keep rising, possibly leading to heat stroke. Note: simple overexposure to extreme heat can precipitate this condition in very young children and the elderly. Heat Stroke (also called Sunstroke) -a truly life-threatening condition in which the body's internal thermostat has ceased to work. Your ability to sweat stops, and the temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may occur in less than ten minutes unless medical help is immediate. How Will You Be Warned? If you are in the peak summer months, and the temperature and/or humidity has been unusually high for several days, anticipate an extreme heat emergency situation. Although the threshold criteria may vary depending on the location, two kinds of alerts are generally issued. Heat Advisory - issued when the heat, or combination of heat and humidity, is expected to become an inconvenience for much of the population, and a problem for some. Excessive Heat Warning -issued when the heat, or combination of heat and humidity, is expected to be dangerous for a large portion of the population.

Return to...Main Page