Be mindful of heat’s effects

Published 10:51 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walk outside and you’ll get a good feel for the life of a baked potato.

Whether it’s by oven or microwave, baked potatoes suffer. And in July, Southerners do too.

From year to year, we seem to forget just how hot summers can get until they arrive.

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Monday, the heat index topped 100 degrees, prompting a heat advisory from the National Weather Service.

Granted, we didn’t need official weather advice to know it was hot, but the NWS bulletin should serve another purpose.

Those of us who live most of our lives in air conditioning need to remember those out there who don’t.

People, and animals too, may need extra attention right now. If you have relatives or friends living in un-air-conditioned housing, check in. Make sure they have plenty of liquids, and are staying as cool as possible.

If you can bring your outside pets inside, do so. If not, provide a steady water source and some shade.

And don’t forget about yourself. Don’t work too hard in the yard. Don’t walk too much in the afternoon sun.

It’s easy to get dehydrated in this weather, and heat-related illness is easily avoided for many of us.

The Weather Service issues its bulletins as a reminder and a wake-up call. If not attended to, heat can be as deadly as a hurricane.

Don’t leave the baked potato in the oven too long.