'Chilling Out' a good idea when temperatures start to rise

It may not be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk yet.

But it is getting there.

It was a mere 95 degrees in Kingman Wednesday, and temperatures are reaching the 90s to 100s in other desert communities, including 113 degrees in Needles Tuesday.

The heat wave is expected to last through next week, with temperatures of 98 degrees Saturday and 102 Sunday predicted for Kingman, according to the Accu Weather Forecast.

"You learn to adapt to the heat," said Jerry Hill, Mohave County Public Works Department emergency management coordinator.

In the 1960s Hill, a Kingman resident, worked as a surveyor in Lake Havasu City, where temperatures often reach 120 and above.

"I had to watch myself," he said.

"I drank lots of liquids, but not soda pop.

I had to wear gloves because I couldn't touch anything hot."

Hill, who has worked for the Mohave County Public Works Department since 1970, said crews start work early in the morning in the summer, and knock off work before the more intense afternoon heat hits.

"You have to watch yourself and be aware of the signs of heat stroke.

But you can adapt yourself to the heat the way the Plainsmen and Indians did," he said.

Crew workers are provided with ice water while working, and are told what to do in case of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

"You have to be aware of the symptoms.

If anyone experiences symptoms of heat stroke they are immediately moved into the shade or into the truck," Hill said.

Long-time Kingman resident Dorrie Board, who has an indoors job as a teacher at EAGLE Academy in Golden Valley, said she does her best to avoid doing any type of outdoor activities during the heat of the day.

"I take my walks in the early morning or late in the evening," Board said.

She said she drinks from a "huge" bottle of water she carries around during the day, and drinks lots of Gatorade.

"I put the water bottle in the freezer the night before.

That way there is a big ice cube in it all day," she said.

Chris Jackson works as a firefighter and emergency medical technician at the Pinion Pines Fire Department.

He also works part time for River Medical, the ambulance service for Kingman and surrounding areas.

"The biggest thing to prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion during the summer is to keep yourself hydrated with plenty of liquids," Jackson said.

"Keep yourself cool.

Don't do strenuous exercise for too long when temperatures are high.

Stick to clothing that is breathable, like a cotton blend," said Jackson.

"Water is the best thing to drink, as well as sports drinks, such as Gatorade, that replace the electrolytes the body loses."

The worst liquids to drink are colas and other soft drinks that contain sugar, and alcohol, which could worsen your condition and cause you to become even more dehydrated," he said.

People who must work outdoors should take breaks every 45 minutes.

Feeling dizzy, weak or nauseous is a sign that you have been in the sun too long, Jackson said.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the person is still perspiring, but feeling the (ill) effects of the heat.

Heat stroke occurs when someone becomes so dehydrated they don't perspire any longer and the skin feels dry to the touch, Jackson said.