Searing heat always brings a number of threats.

Temperatures eclipsing the century mark smacked the region over the weekend, with the same expected today.

Garden Cityís high topped 100 degrees Sunday, and the area forecast called for a string of high temperatures close to the century mark.

Mix in some wind, and weíre left to endure blast furnace-like weather in days ahead.

With so many wonderful outdoor events and activities to enjoy this time of year, everyone should take stock of the need to be prepared to handle the heat.

Itís necessary to be cautious when going outside to work or participate in other activities that may not seem strenuous, but can be perilous in extreme heat.

Hot weather can attack anyone. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other ailments may occur with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity when temperatures soar.

Those who face the greatest risk of heat-related illnesses are infants and young children up to 4 years of age; those older than 65; people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or obesity; and anyone who exercises or works outside in the heat ó a real concern in an agriculture-driven part of the country.

The National Weather Service reminds people to drink plenty of water; wear lightweight, light-colored clothing; take plenty of breaks during outdoor activity; and avoid prolonged exposure between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on hot days.

People also should keep an eye on elderly and disabled friends and neighbors, and others without air conditioning or other means to stay cool.

Pets should be kept indoors whenever itís extremely hot. Otherwise, they need plenty of fresh, clean water and shady places to cool off. Never leave a dog or cat inside a parked vehicle in the heat, even for a few moments.

With many weeks of summer ahead, we can expect more extremely hot days to come.

Think ahead before going outdoors. Find ways to stay cool and keep an eye on those most vulnerable. Anyone who suspects someone may be in danger because of soaring temperatures should check on them.

Heat-related problems are largely preventable, so stay safe this summer.