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If you can’t stay indoors during this U.S. heat wave, here are a few ideas

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI — Are warm and getting hotter for employees and everyone else outside the home as the first important thing heat wave of the year makes its way east through the United States. More than 70 million people were below standard extreme heat warnings Monday.

In addition, the heat will draw in and remain. Too high humidity makes it feel even more oppressive. “The duration of this heat wave is remarkable and may be the longest in decades for some locations,” the National Weather Service said this weekend.

That is dangerous. Emergency medical services in the US have been deployed more than 2,400 times for heat-related emergencies between June 1 and 14, according to a government data tracker.

From gardeners to builders, not everyone can stay indoors. Here’s some advice on how to deal with this from some people who will be working outside this week.

Last year the US had that too most heat waves — abnormally warm weather lasting more than two days — since 1936. The South and Southwest saw the worst on record last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On Monday afternoon, Jose Orozco and a dozen other workers rested under a tree near their waterworks project in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills. The temperature was already above 80 degrees and rising.

Maintaining public water supplies during a heat wave is critical. But it must be done as safely as possible. That means watching out signs of heat exhaustionor worse.

“All we do is just drink water and take a 15-minute break,” Orozco said. “You see someone slowing down and it’s time to take a break.”

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Tuesday will be even more challenging, he said. Asphalt is being worked on.

Hot asphalt being poured can reach temperatures of up to 300 degrees, said Chris Engelbrecht, director of safety and emergency management for the Missouri Department of Transportation. On any given summer day, 2,000 or more workers will be on Missouri roads doing maintenance.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has been preparing for the heat for weeks. Tailgate talk sessions will be held in mid-spring to prepare crews for precautions to be taken, said Joseph Monroe, an operations engineer.

From Southern California to parts of New England and from the Canadian border south to the Florida Keys, temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees this week and even top 100 degrees in some places, according to the National Weather Service .

Chris Sander operates Powder Monkey Fireworks, which is already gearing up for the Fourth of July in Missouri. The sale starts this week and workers have started putting out the merchandise.

Sander says that his employees do the heaviest physical work early in the morning, before the heat increases. The tents are ventilated but not air-conditioned.

“We have a lot of fans, so you pour bottled water over your head and stand in front of a 12-inch fan every five to 10 minutes, and take a lot of breaks,” Sander said. Employees can also stay in an air-conditioned camper. Sander encourages lunch at a restaurant to cool them down.

If necessary, he sends them home.

“If you see someone who’s a little lethargic with it or not, tell them, ‘You’re done for the day.’ Come back tomorrow,” he said.

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Urban areas start to bustle. Chicago is expected to reach 95 degrees on Monday. The Detroit area could reach 97 degrees on Thursday. Knoxville, Tennessee, could hit 96 degrees on Friday.

Work supervisors at the Oakland County Road Commission in southeastern Michigan are trying to limit workers’ hours in direct sun, spokesman Craig Bryson said.

Greg Brooks, director of safety and compliance for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, said the state requires construction companies to take necessary precautions. In addition to providing drinking water and extra breaks, many companies rotate employees so that no one is exposed to the heat all day.

Some jobs have staggered shifts. Crews work during the cooler mornings and resume in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.

It’s also important to teach employees how to recognize when there’s a problem, Brooks says: “Generally speaking, people who suffer from heat exhaustion won’t recognize it as heat exhaustion because they get tunnel vision.”

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Salter reported from O’Fallon, Missouri.

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Follow AP’s weather coverage https://apnews.com/hub/weather

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