Extreme Heat

Be Prepared:
Terms:

  • Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with humidity.
  • Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.
  • Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. The first signal that your body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Blood flow to the skin increases, which decreases blood flow to vital organs and creates a form of mild shock. The condition will worsen if it is not treated.
  • Heat Stroke: The body's temperature control system stops working and causes brain damage. Death may result in some instances.

Prepare:

  • Install air conditioning systems or know where the nearest air conditioned public place is located.
  • Check your air conditioning system for proper insulation.
  • Cover windows that receive sunlight.
  • Keep a large supply of cold water where it is easily accessible.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts and remain aware of possible upcoming temperature changes.

Extreme Heat-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Sunscreen
  • Cold Water

Be Safe:
During:

  • Stay indoors and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
  • Spend the warmest part of the day in the air conditioning. If you do not have air conditioning, consider going to a public location or cooling center that does.
  • Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Check on family and friends.
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles.
  • Remember to give you pet extra water and limit their time outdoors.
  • Take frequent breaks from any strenuous work or activity.
  • Plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of the day.
  • Always wear sunscreen. Sunburn limits your body's ability to dissipate heat.

After:

  • Continue to drink water to restore proper hydration.
  • Check on neighbors and family to make sure they are not suffering from a heat related illness.

More Information/Additional Resources:

http://www.ready.gov/heat