Editorial

FEMA offers smartphone app to deal with heat

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If you were around in 1936, this weather may feel familiar.

Nebraska's all-time highest recorded temperature was 118 F on July 24, 1936 in Minden. That was just one of many days and weeks of weather over several years that led to vast dust storms, crop failures and depopulation of parts of the Plains and migration to California during the Depression.

Things are not as bad as "the Dirty Thirties," but the temperatures are so dangerous that the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VII office is urging residents across the region to take steps now to prepare their families and communities for extreme heat, by reviewing important safety information and downloading the FEMA smartphone app.

We'd suggest it's a much more important use than downloading and playing Pokemon Go.

The National Weather Service The National Weather Service announced that "dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected this week across a large portion of the nation." Additionally, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's latest outlook notes that most of the continental United States is facing elevated chances of well-above-average summer temperatures. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, heat kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods.

To help all residents stay safe during extreme heat, FEMA urges residents to consider taking the following actions in affected areas:

* Postpone outdoor games and activities and limit exposure to the sun.

* Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine; limit alcoholic beverage intake.

* Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.

* Spend the warmest part of the day in temperature-controlled buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, or community facilities.

* Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

FEMA also urges residents across the region to download and use the free FEMA app, available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

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