Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

  • Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

  • Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

 

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.

  • Avoid strenuous activities.

  • Watch for heat illness.

  • Wear light clothing.

  • Check on family members and neighbors.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN EXTREME HEAT THREATENS

Prepare NOW
  • Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.

  • Keep your home cool by doing the following:

  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.

Be Safe DURING
  • Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.

  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.

  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.

  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.

  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.

  • Avoid high-energy activities.

  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND

Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:

  • HEAT CRAMPS

  • HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • HEAT STROKE