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High-Heat Advice from a Climate Relief Expert

A picture taken in Nathaniel Matthews-Trigg’s yard in Albuquerque showing the temperature reaching 101 degrees fahrenheit at about 11:30 am.
A picture taken in Nathaniel Matthews-Trigg’s yard in Albuquerque showing the temperature reaching 101 degrees fahrenheit at about 11:30 am.

In response to the eat advisory for today we have a word with Nathaniel Matthews-Trigg about the dangers of high temperature situations. He is a board member of Health Climate New Mexico and an associate director for climate and disaster resilience with Americares.

“Extreme heat is a major killer in the US and globally, in fact more people every year in the US die from extreme heat than any other kind of extreme weather event. People often underestimate the risk of extreme heat because they’ve lived through it before, they often don't realize a few additional degrees in the temperature can dramatically increase your risk. a simple mistake of not pacing enough water when you go on a hike or having to wait in the sun for a delayed bus can lead to tragic preventable death if people don't take precautions.”

Hospital visits increase during the high heats.

“There’s a study by Brian Woods at the New Mexico Department of Health that found above 90 degrees fahrenheit the number of emergency department visits increases dramatically in New Mexico.”

He has advice on how to beat the heat.

There are many strategies to staying safe. The number one strategy is to pay attention to the forecast and try to schedule outings or activities for the cooler parts of the day. This could be earlier in the morning or later in the evening. We know air conditioners are one of the most effective ways to staying cool and safe, but many people don't have air conditioners in their homes. You could go to a place with air conditioning such as a library or a store or a movie theater. There are other strategies to staying safe without an air conditioner; you can take cool showers, wetting your skin while sitting in front of a fan can be quite effective. We advise people to avoid strenuous activities, drink plenty of fluids and take breaks in cool locations if you do perform activities outside.”

Matthews-Trigg reminds us to check in on our loved ones and watch out for signs of heat related illness.

“We really want people to check in on their families and friends. One of the greatest risks that people face is, people who are socially isolated and they experience symptoms of heat related illness and there is no one there to call for help. So really knowing the signs of heat illness such as heat stroke is really critical to getting support during acute life threatening emergency.”

Americares recently released a document on 5 Steps to Ready for Extreme Heat.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.