Experts Advise Staying Cool

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

Knoxville (WVLT) -- It is day 17 of above 90 degree temperatures.

We tied a record yesterday, and we just may do it again today!

It's important to try and find ways to stay safe during a heat wave, because there are casualties every year.

Temperatures of 100 degrees or higher were likely across Tennessee today.

The heat wave has killed at least eight people in the state in the last 17 days with Memphis bearing the brunt of the burning heat.

"With the temperatures up like they have, I'd probably say no more than one or more a day," said Tim Suter, Rural/Metro's operations manager.

In Knox County, the majority of calls to rural metro aren't coming from homes, but from athletic fields.

"We've transported a couple of kids off of ball fields that didn't stay properly hydrated," Suter said.

Children and the elderly are the most likely victims of extreme heat, but they aren't the only ones.

At Interfaith Health Clinic, health care workers provide care to people who work, but still can't afford health insurance, and other amenities, like air conditioning.

"They're having more problems in the heat and I might ask them, do you have air conditioning or fans?" said Peggy Watson, a nurse practitioner.

Interfaith workers say laborers and service workers are victims of this heat wave, too.

If you must work outside in the heat, and can't afford air conditioning in your home, they say, you need to find relief elsewhere.

"I've suggested that to our patients, you know, if it's too warm in your home, go somewhere like a library or a mall that's cool," Watson said.

Meteorologists predict this heat wave to extend at least until Sunday, totaling 20 straight days of temperatures above 90, but not before temperatures approach new record highs today and tomorrow.

There will always be people without adequate ventilation, or way to keep cool.

Community leaders are asking all of us to remember to check on our elderly family, friends and neighbors along with anyone else vulnerable to the heat.

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