Do you know how to stay safe in extreme heat?


The hottest days of the year have arrived! Do you know how to beat the heat and stay safe during the summer months? Here are some facts and tips to get you through the summer.

What is extreme heat? 

Extreme heat and heat waves occur when temperatures reach extremely high levels or when a combination of heat and humidity cause the air to be oppressive.

Who is most likely affected by extreme heat?

Typically, extreme heat tends to affect more males than females.  It also affects children, outside workers, and the elderly.

Where is extreme heat most dangerous? 

The places that are most effected by extreme heat are homes with low or non-existent air conditioning (AC), construction worksites, and cars.

How do I stay safe in extreme heat?

  • Stay Hydrated.  Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid sugary beverages and alcohol.
  • Stay Cool.  Find a place with air conditioning for yourself and your children/pets if your home does not have AC.  Fans re-circulate air but will not keep the home cool like AC does. 
  • Wear light-weight, light colored, loose fitting clothes. 

What do the different heat alerts mean?

There are different heat alerts for different degrees of heat waves.

  • Heat Outlook is minor and stands for an excessive heat event that will occur within a period of 3 to 7 days.
  • Heat Watch means there is going to be an excessive heat event in 12 to 48 hours.
  • Heat Warning/Advisory is major and means there will be an excessive heat event in the next 36 hours.

No matter the alert, you should prepare for the approaching heat, whether it’s configuring the house so it remains cool or preparing to be in an air conditioned place when the extreme heat hits.

Did you know?

  • Urban areas can be at a greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those in rural areas. 
  • Heat-related illnesses occur because of overexposure to heat or over-exercising.  Exercise indoors rather than in the sun during periods of extreme heat.
  • Sunburn can slow the skin’s ability to release excess heat significantly.  Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on to better keep cool during these hot summer months.

Stay cool, hydrated, and informed!

Credit: CDC