Overexertion or overexposure during extreme heat can cause many heat related
illness. It is important to minimize activity and exposure as much as possible.
Persons who are sick or overweight and older adults or children are more
likely to be effected by heat related illnesses. It is important to take
protective measures during extreme heat to minimize the risks for you and
Prepare for extreme heat
There are several measures, which can be taken to prepare for and minimize
the effects of extreme heat.
- Install window air conditioners snugly as possible; use insulation if
- Weather-strip all doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Check heating and cooling ducts for proper insulation.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes),
such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
During extreme heat
- Stay indoors, limit exposure to the sun.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Stay on the lowest floor of your residence and out of the sun if air
conditioning is not available.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day.
- You may wish to spend the warmest part of the day in public buildings
such as schools, shopping malls, libraries, and other community facilities.
Heat related illnesses and first aid.
Symptoms: Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters,
First Aid: Take a shower, using soap, to remove oils
that may block pores preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters
occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.
Symptoms: Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal
muscles. Heavy sweating.
First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle
massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and
clammy. Weak pulse. Normal temperature possible. Fainting, vomiting.
First Aid: Get victim to lie down in a cool
place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim
to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs,
discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke)
Symptoms: High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin.
Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.
First Aid: Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency.
Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services or get the victim to
a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move victim to a
cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body
temperature. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing. Use fans and/or
air conditioners. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.
Are Your Home and Family Prepared for Freezing Temperatures? Don’t forget to check these off your ready list!
• Bring pets inside, if possible. If animals must remain outside, make sure they have adequate cover and warmth. Hay or pine straw are good insulators. Always make sure they have fresh water!
• Make sure you leave the water dripping on your faucets and check your outside faucets. Keep your house temperature above 55 degrees. Open cabinet doors to let the warm air in around uninsulated pipes.
• Bring in any potted plants! Make sure plants outside have plenty of water and are covered to protect from frost.
• Sit at the bus stop with your children until the bus arrives or allow them to sit inside and watch for the bus if it stops in front of your house.
• Give yourself extra time in the morning getting ready to leave for work. Go out early and start your car so it’s fully defrosted when you are ready to leave for work.
• Check on elderly family members tonight and make sure they have everything they need.
• Never leave space heaters on overnight/unmonitored. Remind family members to turn them off when they are headed to bed and put extra blankets on your beds instead.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full.
• Keep a vehicle emergency kit in your trunk. In addition to the basic essentials, add a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, snacks, jumper cables, and sand for traction.