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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases

August 3, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Doug Ahlberg, County Emergency Management, 441-7741
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265
Bruce Dart, Health Department 441-8000


Mayor Coleen J. Seng and other local officials today urged citizens to pay attention to heat warnings and take steps to protect themselves, their families and their pets. Lincoln has experienced several periods of very high temperatures this summer, and August is typically a hot month.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues two kinds of heat alerts:

  • A heat advisory means that a period of hot conditions (heat index from 100 to 104 degrees) is expected. The hot environment will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
  • An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures (heat index of 105 degrees or above) will create life-threatening conditions. The heat and high humidity create a dangerous situation that can cause heat illnesses. Lincoln had a heat warning last week, the first one of the summer. When this warning is issued, the Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency consults with Mayor Seng and City Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson to determine whether City recreation centers will be kept open to provide air-conditioned locations for the public. The information will be available on the City Web site and through local media.

“With more hot weather expected, we need to remember that extreme heat can cause illness and even death, so it is very important to use caution and common sense,” said Mayor Seng. “We need to take precautions for ourselves and also for those who are at increased risk, such as the elderly and children.”

Children are more at risk because they adjust more slowly to the heat, have thinner skin, produce more heat with activity, sweat less and are less likely to rest or get a drink when they are active. Others at risk include those with chronic diseases, those who are overweight and those using certain medications or alcohol.

The heat index is a more accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Information on local weather, the heat index and safety precautions are available at the NWS Web site.

Both air temperature and humidity affect the body’s ability to cool itself during hot weather. Heat stress occurs when sweating isn’t enough to cool the body, causing a person’s body temperature to rise rapidly. Heat stress symptoms include clammy, sweaty skin; light-headedness; weakness; and nausea. Heat-related illnesses include sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, the most severe form which requires immediate medical attention. More health information can be found at the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hot weather precautions include the following:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids.
  • Avoid heavy meals and hot foods, which add heat to your body.
  • Monitor infants for fluid intake, and dress them in cool, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors and friends who may be at risk.
  • Never leave children and/or pets in parked cars. Even with the windows open, temperatures can reach 130 degrees in only a few minutes.
  • Make sure pets and livestock that live outdoors have plenty of fresh water and shade.
  • Stay out of the sun and in a cool environment as much as possible. Those without air conditioning should find a public air-conditioned location, such as a recreation center, senior center, library, mall or movie theater.

Those who do need to be outside are advised to wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. Plan activities either before noon or in the evening, resting frequently in shaded areas. Stop activity and get into a cool area if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint. Extreme heat can be a concern to healthy people as well, including children participating in outdoor activities such as summer camps and athletic events and practices.

Mayor's Office    Media Releases