Extreme Heat Warnings
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme hear from affecting you.
- If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning.
- Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside
- Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
- Be sure to apply sunscreen often
Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of a heat stroke are a high body temperature (103 degrees or higher), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person to somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with a cool, wet cloth or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15 degrees hotter.
Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.