(NBC News) – A dangerous heat wave has begun to move across the country Wednesday, putting emergency personnel on alert and sending many Americans searching for shade.
The days to come will bring triple-digit heat from Bismarck to Baton Rouge, Birmingham, and Baltimore.
Relief agencies are distributing water, fans, and air conditioners.
“We don’t want anybody being caught in distress, in their homes or even dying. That’s happen in past disasters,” Major David Harvey, Kansas City Salvation Army, says.
Temperatures have been so high this year that NASA scientists have declared the first half a record breaker.
“The planet is warming, and the last six months have been the warmest first six months of the year on record,” Dr. Compton Tucker, NASA, says.
Heat advisories and warnings have been posted in 16 central and southern states through the weekend.