Extreme Heat

Extreme Heat Precautions
As temperatures can rise quickly in the summer months, the following safety practices can minimize risk of heat-related illness:

Prior to a Heat Wave
  • Ensure adequate water supplies are available in case the power should go out for any reason.
  • Obtain sun screen (SPF 15 or higher), UV protective sun glasses and proper covering should the need arise to go outside.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water and can find shade; make arrangements to bring pets indoors if possible; plan how to move animals to water sources and shade.
  • If necessary to conduct outdoor activities, schedule them in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are lower.
During to a Heat Wave
  • Stay in air conditioned areas or on lower, cooler levels of a building; limit exposure to the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water; limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, light-weight and light-colored clothing; keep covered as much as possible.
  • Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion (clammy skin, profuse sweating, weakness, nausea, dizziness) and heat stroke (high body temperature, no sweating , rapid breathing/heart rate).
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles.
  • Avoid outdoor work during the warmest part of the day; use a buddy system and take frequent breaks.
  • Do not rely on fans to lower temperatures; remaining in air-conditioned areas provides the best protection against heat-related illness.
  • Ensure vehicles' gas tanks are filled with fuel in case of being caught in traffic or having mechanical difficulties while en route. Be sure to have plenty of fluids in the vehicle for drinking as well as for cooling the engine, if needed.
Extreme Heat Composites
Know How to Identify the Signs of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Stroke occurs when the body's temperature can no longer be regulated by natural processes and the individual is unable to cool down; this places the person at risk of permanent disability or even death.
  • Heat Exhaustion is the result of extreme dehydration and loss of salt from the body's systems; this situation can also be dangerous, and even life threatening.
Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dizziness, nausea, and confusion
  • Hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Redness of skin
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache.
Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion
  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Paleness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
Sun shining over water
What to Do If Experiencing or Encountering Someone With Heat Stroke or Exhaustion
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Relocate to a shady area or air-conditioned room.
  • Reduce the victim's body temperature as quickly as possible using cool water, ice wrapped in towels or whatever means available.
  • Monitor body temperature, if possible, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101 degrees F.
  • Give the individual cool water, never alcohol, to drink.
  • If muscle spasms occur, clear the area around the individual and refrain from administering any additional fluids as long as the spasms persist. Do not place anything in the person's mouth. If there is vomiting, ensure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.
Sources and Resources:
Center for Disease Control