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Extreme heat or heat waves occur when temperatures reach high levels or when the combination of heat and humidity causes the air to become oppressive.
When Under an Extreme Heat Warning
- Find air conditioning.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Watch for heat illness
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
- Wear light clothing.
Try to keep your home cool:
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building's attic by clearing hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
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 what would be best.
Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees. You 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 & Respond
Know the signs and ways to treat heat-related illness.
Heat CrampsSigns: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs.
Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
Heat ExhaustionSigns: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
Heat StrokeSigns: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) indicated by an oral thermometer; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; and unconsciousness.
Actions: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.