KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The heat index around Kansas City, Missouri, is expected to hover around 105 degrees Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading to the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat warning.
The heat forces people who work or exercise outdoors to take special precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.
Ryan Sloop, and athletic trainer and the program and facility coordinator for The University of Kansas Health System Sports Performance Center has three pieces of advice for people spending time outside:
1) Hydrate. Weigh yourself before you exercise and weigh yourself afterwards. For each pound you lost, drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid. Sloop said water is best — don’t think the only way to get electrolytes is from sports drinks.
“As long as you're eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, you get your electrolytes through your diet,” Sloop said. “Oftentimes, sports drinks are so high in sugar they can add unnecessary calories.”
2) Exercise with a partner. Make sure one person in the group carries a cellphone or stay in a populated area where one person can easily call for help in an emergency.
“You don't want to be left out on the street when you're running and you’re by yourself and things go from bad to worse very quickly,” Sloop said.
3) Acclimate yourself to the extreme heat. Start exercising in the morning or evening when it’s cooler before working out in the hottest parts of the day. And know the signs of heat exhaustion before exercising in the daytime.
“Your body stops sweating and becomes cool and clammy and dry to the touch. They are very disoriented, confused, they don't know where they are, they may become nauseated, they can lose consciousness. It is all bad signs. It goes downhill very quickly,” Sloop said.
The team at Manning Roofing puts those strategies in play for the work day. Its crews begin work at about 7 a.m., or as early as noise ordinances allow. They take an hours-long break during the peak of temperatures and finish working in the early evening. A project manager on site does more than keep track of quality control.
“We are looking for signs of heat exhaustion. We're making sure they have water, we're throwing water to them, bringing water to them on a constant basis. Making sure they're taking breaks, pulling them off the roof when we need to,” Brian McHenry from Manning Roofing said.
One administrative employee constantly keeps an eye on the weather and sends information to the crews in the field. He said it can often feel ten to 15 degrees hotter on a roof than on the ground.
Manning Roofing places a tent in the yard of homes it’s working on to provide shade for employees during breaks. On hot days, crews take more breaks, meaning projects take longer to complete, but McHenry said the safety of roofers is the top priority and customers understand that.
“They are great with it. We just had a homeowner talk to us this morning, she was offering to get water to get Gatorade, to do whatever she could for the guys,” McHenry said. “They understand they need to take breaks and they appreciate them coming out and doing the hard work they do.”