PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – A heat advisory went into effect across much of the Panhandle Thursday, with temperatures ranging through the 90s.
The added humidity made the air feel even hotter with heat index values ranging from 106-110 degrees.
This type of heat is expected to be prolonged through the next few days while tropical weather has taken a break in the area.
Parks and Recreation Department officials are experts when it comes to managing labor outdoors during some of the hottest days of the year.
Travis Barbee, Bay County Parks & Rec Division Manager, said that even before the peak of summer they start preparing for such conditions.
“As July hits you know we make sure we stock up on extra water, hats, we try to shift the hours a little bit earlier in the morning, so a little bit more of their work gets done before it gets hot, we tell the guys to take all the breaks they need,” Barbee said.
The Parks and Recreation Department has even let employees start to wear shorts to work if they are too hot, compared to long heavy pants. Many of those officials agree that listening to your body is the most important thing to do in regards to the heat.
If you do not take measures to stay cool, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can set in.
“For heatstroke, you might have a throbbing headache, your skin is gonna be red and dry, were gonna stop sweating and you could lose consciousness… while with heat exhaustion you become dizzy or faint, or have cool clammy skin, or get really tired,” Panama City Fire Department Division Chief Graham Tolbert said.
If you or anyone you know starts to develop these symptoms after extended time outdoors, make sure to find them a cool spot, preferably in the air conditioning, provide plenty of water, and try to cool their internal body temperature down with cold compresses or a cool shower.