(Rio Yamat/ CTV News) — Scorching heat across the U.S. already has caused more than a dozen deaths in Texas alone and led to mounting misery for millions of people from the Pacific Northwest to the South.
And the official end of summer is still months away.
Here’s a guide on how to keep cool and stay safe in the punishing temperatures as the latest heat wave ravaging the country spreads east.
Heat kills more Americans than any other weather event, including tornadoes and flooding, even though most heat-related deaths are preventable through outreach and intervention, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Heat is the silent killer. No one thinks about it,” said Ben Zaitchik, a professor and climate scientist at Johns Hopkins University whose research includes heat waves. “It’s getting hotter just about everywhere. That means even without a particular weather phenomenon, like what we’re seeing in Texas right now, we’re seeing temperatures we aren’t used to, and that in its own right is a risk.”
The body normally cools itself by sweating, but extreme heat can interrupt your ability to do that, potentially leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, organ failure or death. (…)