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Heat & humidity a dangerous combo

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 19:02:53-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The search is on for shelter as temperatures climb in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. 

“The scary part is when you stop sweating,” says Chuck Wieduwilt, who lives temporarily at the Open Door Mission in Omaha.

Staff at the mission gives out bottles of water to guests who leave for the day, but Weiduwilt and others who live here know the water isn't limitless.

“There's only so much water you can give to 300 homeless people,” he says. “You know, if they don't have it we don't get it."

Too little water and too much heat is a deadly combination for people who live outside.

“We've seen it happen and we probably will unfortunately see it happen this year,” says Kate Fischer, a medical professional who cares for people at the mission.

She says in the heat, even manageable health issues like diabetes can become serious problems when people’s bodies react to the heat and sun.

“If they're not getting enough water or they're out in the sun they're blood sugar will go up,
Fischer explains, “They'll get dehydrated and that can be a mess on their kidneys."

Chuck says he's lucky to not have any chronic health problems but he is still at great risk during this coming heat wave: He makes money mowing lawns in the mornings, “And in the afternoon I’ll probably find a shade tree and a couple bottles of water."