Staying safe in the heat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Staying safe in the heat

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June 10, 2003

Albany - It was hot and humid day in southwest Georgia. If you were working outside, you know just how hot it was. When you add the sun, heat index and some steamy hot machines, you get a lot of sweaty workers. 

While Debbie Prince is getting rid of your sweat stains, she's making some of her own. She says, "All of the presses have live steam from a boiler right there, so we have nothing but hot steam going everywhere in here, that's why it's so hot."

Debbie's Dry Clean Express workers in Albany try their best to stay cool. Fans are constantly working hard, their hair goes up and bathing suits go on. Prince explains, "I told them all to wear bathing suits and get under the water hose. We'll either get more business or scare people away."

No matter what they do sometimes the heat wins. She says, "It can be tough, the worst part is dealing with the plastic bags. You're already hot and sweaty, everytime you touch the plastic bags they stick to you."

The thermometer inside the dry cleaning business read 106 degrees, two weeks ago it was up to 114 degrees.  Prince says, "I really felt like I was going to have a heat stroke. I felt nauseated, I felt dizzy, I just couldn't go any longer."

Prince urges employees to take breaks often so they don't get as dizzy as the spin cycle.  She explains, "I even suggest them to go to the store to walk around so they can bring their body temperature down."

Debbie's Dry Clean Express doesn't have air conditioning because it wouldn't help with all the steamy machines. Summer hasn't even arrived, so the workers here will have to pretend they are clean clothes and "hang in there".

Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. Here's advice for staying safe in the sun.

  • Slow down and reduce or reschedule strenuous activities to the coolest times of the day.
  • Dress for summer, wear lightweight and light colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight.
  • Don't eat protein-rich foods that increase metabolic heat production and increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you don't feel thirsty.
  • Don't drink alcoholic beverages.

Summer doesn't officially start until June 21st.

posted at 5:33PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com