Today is Friday, July 22, 2011.  The U.S. is having a heat wave and so far 13 people have lost their lives.  Being medically insured with Health Plans for individuals or senior health plans will not be much help to prevent heat related problems but you sure will be glad you have one if you need to see a doctor or go to the ER for heat related illnesses.  Feeling a little grumpy about paying your Health Insurance Premiums?  Just remember without protection, should you become ill, you would be paying the entire doctor or emergency room bill. Speaking of getting ill… the most dangerous and life threatening heat problem is heat stroke.  The key symptom is that the victim is hot and flushed but not sweating because they have run out of adequate sweat to cool their body. This is a life-threatening emergency situation in which emergency medical services should be called immediately.  The victim should be cooled off as quickly as possible using ice packs, cool water, fans and whatever is available.

Here are some interesting facts from Gant Daily about the current sweltering, hot, muggy and miserable weather.  Temperatures are over 100 degrees in many states and the National Weather Service placed 18 states stretched from Montana to Texas under a heat warning, watch or advisory.  NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has warned that over the next few days the U.S. will continue to suffer from a combination of very hot temperatures and high humidity, which will create dangerous heat indices over the central U.S.

The Weather Channel is reporting how rare triple digit heat is in some locations.

New York has had only 57 days of 100+ heat since 1870 at Central Park.  None from 2002 through June 2010.

Rochester, N.Y. Last day of 100+ heat was on June 21, 1953 and only 6 days of 100+ heat on record since 1872!

Philadelphia: Averages only 1 day of 100+ heat every other year.

It is forecasted that the dangerous heat will peak Friday, through Saturday in the East.

The Emergency Dude has some suggestions on how to be a “cool dude” (what else?) during a heat wave.

  • Minimize physical exertion
  • Drink Water
  • Stay in cool, dry locations
  • Spend the day in an air-conditioned mall or YMCA or library if your home has no air conditioning
  • Drink more water than you think is necessary
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Watch for warning signs such as headache and weariness
  • Do not take salt tablets unless instructed by your doctor

One more word of caution.  A car parked in the sun on a 95 degree day would have an inside temperature of over 120 within 20 minutes.  And, in 40 minutes it would be over 150.  Heatstroke occurs when a person’s core temperature reaches 105 degrees.  Leaving a child in a car seat for even less than 20 minutes may kill the child and even after 5 or 10 minutes heatstroke is a possibility.  Do not leave your pets in the car on a hot day either.