Outdoor workers share how they stay cool in the Mississippi summer heat

Outdoor workers share how they stay cool in the Mississippi summer heat

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “Last week, we had a 106-107 heat index, but today is the worst as far as heat and the humidity,” admitted outdoor worker Dylan Harvey.

Harvey loves his job but admits he hates working in the heat. But there is not much he can do about the soaring temperatures, except try to stay cool.

“We work for about an hour or so at the job and leave to go to the next one, and getting in the air-conditioner in the truck is a help, but there’s really not a whole lot to do other than cool off every hour or so and drink lots of water,” he said.

He is not the only one working under the scorching sun. Several contractors in the metro were doing their best to work in these uncomfortable conditions Monday.

“When you get in the middle of the day heat, especially light skin folks, you start burning. The sunburn is bad,” said contractor Cody Thornton.

Thornton and his colleagues have also found a way to beat the heat, which includes working early in the morning.

“Definitely the morning time,” Thornton said. “We get out here at 6:30, 7 o’clock before the sun gets up.”

Jim Pollard with AMR agrees. He says a major part of avoiding heat illness is to drink fluids continuously and take breaks.

“You should drink water and also commercial sports drinks,” he said. “Don’t drink alcohol and stay away from large volumes of caffeine because alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, so they make the body lose fluids rather than holding it in.”

“The idea is to drink the right fluids constantly,” Pollard continued. “The heat with this humidity is plain dangerous, so we really have to be mindful to take care of ourselves to avoid heat exhaustion.”

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