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Record-breaking heat envelops area
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What Southerners recognize as “the dog days of summer” are now upon us and heat advisory warnings are once again a common occurrence. So how are locals staying cool?
Paul Martin, who as the grounds crew manager at Cherokee Rose Golf Course faces the heat on a daily basis, says that after living in the area for 28 years and working at the course for nine, he has acquired a few tricks to beat the heat.
After following the most obvious and important advice, which is to stay hydrated, Martin keeps his grounds crew cool by rearranging their daily schedule to avoid peak heat hours.
 “We do the hard jobs in the morning,” Martin said. “After 12 we try to stay in the shade.” But it’s hard to avoid the sun for too long when he and his workers are in charge of irrigation, landscaping and many other regular maintenance jobs. However, he says he is now pretty acclimated to the heat. “I’m pretty use to it,” Martin said.
Fortunately for the course, customers haven’t seemed to mind the heat too much either. Martin said the number of customers hasn’t significantly dropped as the temperatures rose. “Maybe a little bit, but not really. People play whether it’s hot or not.”

Ronny Mobley, Manager of Cherokee Rose Country Club, said his staff tries to provide options for those who still want to be outside despite high temperatures. “We tell people to keep hydrated, play early in the day, and if they feel any heat exhaustion, to come inside and cool off.” The course also has water coolers strategically placed on the course to give players some relief.
However, there are a few groups of people who are concerned about the heat and heat-related illness. Workers at the Manna House, a local nonprofit organization that provides food and clothing to needy families, are particularly concerned about seniors during this time of year. They try to keep the elderly cool by giving them lots of water and fans.
“Our greatest concern is the seniors,” said Rev. Katrina Deason, director of the Manna House. “Because even if they have AC, they might not use it. With their limited incomes, they’ll do anything to keep the utility bills down.”
Deason, who says they serve about 100 seniors per month, is asking people to donate fans so that she can make sure the elderly stay healthy through the end of the summer. “We’re not talking about a cool down for another two months,” Deason said. “And you can tell it’s really hard on them.”

According to state climatologist David Stooksbury, Deason has good reason to worry — he considers the Georgia heat to be deadly. “By far, the largest number of deaths related to the weather stem from heat. Tornadoes and hurricanes get the press, but really it’s the heat.”
With school starting, Stooksbury says one group particularly at risk for heat-related illnesses is student athletes.
“It’s imperative that kids practicing sports stay hydrated.” He says a good guideline (for all who spend significant amounts of time in the heat) is if you’re drinking water but not going to the bathroom, you’re not drinking enough.
Stooksbury, also a professor of engineering and atmospheric sciences at UGA, additionally recommends avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they both cause dehydration. “Good old-fashioned, cool water is best,” Stooksbury said.
“Slow down, don’t over exert yourself and get into a cool place sometime during the day; your body needs time to recover,” Stooksbury said. Also wearing light colored and loose fitting clothes can help keep residents cool.
As a last piece of advice, Stooksbury reminds people to respect the heat. He says even those who have grown up with it should be on guard and know how to protect themselves.

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