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|Tips for Staying Safe During a Heatwave
Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
Check the weather/listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
|Tips If You Have to be Outside
Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
Protect face and head by wearing sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat.
Postpone outdoor games and activities.
Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
|Additional Safety Tips
Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
Download the FEMA App for heat advisories and safety tips.
Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
|Heat-related illnesses happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. Types of heat related illnesses include:
Heat Cramps – Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
What to look for: heavy sweating, muscle pains or spasms
Actions to take: stop physical activity and move to a cooler place, drink water or a sports drink. Seek medical attention if cramps last longer than one hour,
Heat Exhaustion – Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
Heat Stroke – A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. A person who is experiencing heat stroke needs medical attention.
To learn more about who is more at risk of heat related illnesses, visit the “at risk populations” page of the NIHHIS website: www.heat.gov.
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