MASON CITY, Iowa - The heat advisory that began Friday afternoon has people in the area looking for ways to beat the heat. But it's not just people staying inside in front of the air conditioner.
And it's not just humans that can be susceptible to the extreme heat.
Hannah Lanphere and her family have chickens, ducks and llamas at this year's Worth County Fair. With temperatures expected to reach the low 90s throughout the weekend, and with the heat index making it feel like it's in the triple digits, it's important to keep animals and livestock like hers safe. Fortunately, she does have a plan in place.
"We just check on them regularly, and all make sure that they have plenty of water, and sometimes put up fans in their pens to help keep them cool," Lanphere says.
Dennis Johnson is the education specialist for Iowa State University's Worth County extension office, and is also at the fair this weekend.
"This weekend's gonna be a challenge because all of those livestock are in those barns or in stalls, and so to keep those animals cool, and this is probably in the case of pigs today because they're getting shown, and to getting exercise, getting worked out, we're gonna have to pour water on them. And not just give them water to drink, but water them down," Johnson says.
With temperatures that can easily reach the 90s in the show arena alone, Johnson says it can stress out the livestock, requiring even more attention.
"I've seen Dads and even brothers and sisters standing with water sprinklers, sprinkling the animals as they go in to the ring. So when you get into the ring, you're feeling pretty cool, feeling pretty comfortable," Johnson adds.
But it's not just the fair that will be busy with people this weekend. Area pools are already seeing a steady flow of customers, including Mason City's.
Brian Pauley with Mason City Parks and Recreation predicts that even more people than usual will use the local pool.
"Initially everyone thinks hot, let's stay indoors, but my theory is lets get out and enjoy this wonderful amenity that we have in town. We're gonna see our highest numbers of the season, maybe even highest numbers for the summer, especially when you have three consecutive days in the 90s," Pauley says.
According to the American Humane Society, there are several signs of heat stroke that can be detected in animals, including heavy panting, fever and a rapid heartbeat. On hot days, make sure your animals have access to plenty of water.
Officials, include those with the National Weather Service, recommend those who are planning to be outside this weekend are advised to limit strenuous outdoor activities and stay in the shade.
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