According to a 30 year average from NOAA, summer heat is the number 1 weather related killer in the U.S. This number is then followed by flooding deaths, tornadoes, lightning and last, winter storms.

Average highs for Florence, SC in July are 91 and the average high for Myrtle Beach is 88. However, a big ridge of high pressure or a “heat dome” is has been in control of our weather for the past several days leading to well above normal temperatures. If you’re not careful you could suffer from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

During times of extreme heat and humidity, your body has a hard time cooling itself off. According to the NWS, when the body heats too rapidly to cool properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.

With heat exhaustion, you could feel dizzy, have excessive sweating. You have cool or pale/clammy skin, you could have cramps and or nausea/vomiting could occur as well. If you feel these symptoms, get to a cooler, air conditioned place. Drink some water, and or take a cooler shower.

Heat stroke is when the body is really in danger. You’ll have a throbbing headache, you’ve now dehydrated yourself and will not be sweating anymore. Body temperature is above 103 degrees, you’ll have a strong pulse and may lose consciousness. If you or someone you see experience any of these symptoms call 911 immediately and take other actions right away to cool the person off.

To avoid this, dry to avoid being outside for long periods, drink plenty of water and dress in summer clothes. Make sure to check on your pets, the young children and the elderly during these extreme heat days.