Legislative Column for the Week of July 27, 2015
Feel the Heat

While we are enjoying the summer months, with picnics, swimming, festivals, fairs and many other outdoor activities, we should all consider the effect the heat can have on the human body.

Missouri has a varied climate most of the time, but the last few summers have seen some brutal temperatures with hot, humid days.

A heat wave is defined as a period of excessive heat lasting two days or more, that leads to illnesses and other issues with people who are particularly vulnerable to the heat. Many people don’t realize just how deadly and extended heat wave can be; a heat wave in 1995 resulted in 57 fatalities in Missouri alone, and 1021 nationwide.

Most heat-related deaths occur in the cities, where brick and mortar buildings, streets and sidewalks absorb heat during the day, and slowly release it at night. Large buildings may block cooling breezes, compounding the problem. The elderly and very young are the most susceptible to the effects of high heat indices, but anyone can be overcome by prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures.

During the summer heat, it is important to drink plenty of water or natural juices, avoid alcohol, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and if you must be in the sun, consider a wide-brimmed hat. Check on elderly relatives frequently during the hot summer months, and visit one of the area’s cooling centers if the heat becomes too much to bear.

The Meramec Valley region has a list of cooling centers on their website HERE.

I hope everyone enjoys the summer and all of the fun associated with warm weather, but please take precautions when the mercury rises to the top of the scale.

As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown.

Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.