The Norman Transcript

July 5, 2013

Officials urge Toby Keith concert attendees to be prepared for heat, sun

Arianna Pickard
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Though temperatures should be remarkably mild for July in Oklahoma, Toby Keith’s 8-hour outdoor tornado relief concert Saturday has paramedics concerned for concert-goers’ safety.

Temperatures shouldn’t get above 88 to 91 degrees with mostly sunny skies during the concert, National Weather Service forecaster Marcus Austin said Monday. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show is scheduled for 3 to 11 p.m. at the University of Oklahoma Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 180 E. Brooks St.

However, it will feel quite warm in the stadium because of low wind speeds predicted to range from 8 to 12 mph, Austin said.

Since there isn’t much wind flow in the stadium anyway and Oklahoma always feels hotter than the actual temperature, if you’re out in the sunshine it will probably feel as hot as 115 degrees, said Norman Regional EMSTAT paramedic Eddie Sims, who will be in the stadium to assist with any emergencies at the concert.

“We’re really concerned,” Sims said. “Unlike football games that last three hours, this is going to last eight.”

But EMSTAT is prepared, with more medics scheduled for the concert than they’ve ever had at football games.

“If people start feeling dizzy, light-headed or strange they should find a cool or shaded area,” Sims said. “If they feel signs of seizures, are hot or wet in the face or anything else not normal, call the medics or first responders in the stadium.”

The stadium has its own 911 public safety line, so if people have emergencies they can call and give their location inside the stadium.

However, to avoid making use of these paramedics, concert-goers should make sure to drink plenty of water before the concert and try to hold back on caffeine and alcohol. If people are drinking alcohol, Sims said they should watch out for the stairs because falling is another problem.

Austin encouraged concert-goers also to wear sunscreen, since the concert will begin in mid-afternoon and there won’t be much shade. Temperatures should reach their highest point between 2 and 4 p.m.

There is a slight chance of a stray shower or storm, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours, but most of this activity should remain south and east of Norman, Austin said. He advised people to continue following the weather forecast, however, because it will probably change.