Houston was one such area in June, with temperatures expected to feel as hot as 113 degrees on June 16, per KPRC 2 News. It was the first time Houston received an excessive heat warning since 2016.
In a similar warning, the NWS said: “Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses.”
For one couple from Houston, it was even more severe. After their air conditioning unit broke, Ramona and Monway Ison and their pet dog died in their mobile home amid the extreme heat, news station KTRK reported.
The couple’s daughter, Roxanna Flood (as social media accounts spell the name), told Insider that the air conditioning broke on June 12, with a repair scheduled for June 16. Ramona and Monway thought they could get by with just fans until it could be fixed. However, when the repair technician arrived, a country medical examiner had already pronounced them dead.
Now, Flood is calling on air conditioning companies to do more to explain to customers the risks of remaining inside during extreme heat.
“I would love for something to be set up with these large (air conditioning) companies to warn people about how lethal this heat is,” Flood said in comments to KTRK. “If they don’t have the money to get their air conditioner fixed, to let them know that they’re literally staying inside an oven.”
Why did this happen?
Global temperatures are on the rise, with one of the causes being the harmful gases released because of the planet’s reliance on dirty fuel for transportation, manufacturing, and domestic energy. These gases trap Earth’s heat, which sends thermometer readings soaring.
The lack of air conditioning increases people’s risk of suffering heat-related illnesses. Unfortunately, for the Isons, those illnesses proved to be fatal.
How can we prevent heat-related illnesses?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people without air conditioning in their homes go to publicly accessible spaces with AC, such as shopping malls or libraries, to cool down during especially hot hours of the day.
“Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat,” the CDC has said.
Staying hydrated is also important, and replacing salt and minerals lost in the heat with sports drinks can be really helpful.
Otherwise, wear loose-fitting clothing and limit your outdoor activities, especially strenuous ones.
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