The predicted heatwave for the Kansas City area arrived right on schedule. “Predictable is preventable, and this is a situation that is very predictable the next few days.” assistant Kansas City Fire Chief Jimmy Walker told Fox 4 News.
Three-quarters of Missouri is under a heat advisory through Friday evening as well as southern counties in eastern and southern Kansas. Forecasters predict daily afternoon and evening heat index values of between 100 and 109 degrees. Dr. Chris Sampson an emergency department physician with MU Health Care, said there’s a correlation between the heat and the air quality, which gets worse in the summer months.
“Which really affects a lot of people who have respiratory illness combined with, though, the air quality from the fires, were also, based on colleagues of mine that worked in the northeast, they definitely saw an increase in patients who, with these respiratory illnesses, needing emergent care,” He says. “So often, that just means it exacerbates your underlying disease.”
Sampson said there are misconceptions about staying safe in the heat. He says the most common is people thinking that only the vulnerable population are at risk.
“Anybody can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” he said. “Unfortunately, we see that occur in people who are athletes every year when they are outside exerting themselves at very hot times in the summer. It’s just being aware that anybody can suffer from it and that everyone should always be taking precautions if they’re going to be outside in the heat.”
The Kansas City Fire Department says it expects an uptick in heat-related calls.
Part of the concern is the lack of relief. Temperatures won’t drop below 70 degrees until perhaps Sunday.
“Stay out of the direct sun, try to find shaded spots, drink plenty of water — those are things that can keep you from getting in trouble,” Walker said. When it’s hot, don’t do things, don’t exert yourself, because there could be repercussions.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice