HOUSTON - While much of the Houston area sat in 90-degree heat on Saturday, the heat index actually soared past 100 degrees.
Along with the humidity and the hot weather came concern for Texans fans as they kicked off the start of football season with their first tailgate outside NRG Stadium.
Houston Fire Station 21 District Chief Richard Cole pulled out a thermal imaging camera to zap the concrete to demonstrate the difference between standing in complete shade and out under the sun.
“We’re getting a temperature of 82 degrees here in the shade, but outside we’ve got a temperature of 105 degrees that’s radiating that heat up,” explained Cole.
While tailgate tents offer some relief with partial shade, “It’s going to be a lot hotter environment than a lot of people are used to. So, the importance of drinking a lot of water while staying hydrated is what we’re really hoping for as well as people staying out of this direct sun,” said Cole.
HFD station 21 is nearest to NRG. In cases of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, firefighters will respond with cooling packs, ice water, fans and electrolytes.
If their response requires the treatment for many victims, firefighters can even set up hydration stations which provide shade.
HFD District Chief Cole says, in addition to hydrating with water, fans should also consider what clothing and head gear they plan to wear during the summer months.
Our bodies release heat through our head, “So, if it’s covered with a football helmet or it’s covered with a hat that doesn’t breathe, or we have multiple layers of clothing on; you know, everyone should be dressing in light-weight clothing, sunscreen-type clothing.”