Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
- Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
- Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
- Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.
IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:
- Find air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Wear light clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN EXTREME HEAT THREATENS
Find places in your community where you can go to get coolwhile following the latest guidelines from CDC about social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Try to keep your home cool:
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
- 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. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html
Recognize and Respond
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and COVID-19 and ways to respond. At-risk populations for both heat-related illness and COVID-19 include older individuals and those with underlying health conditions. Know how to protect individuals especially at risk from both extreme heat events and COVID-19.
If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for advice and shelter in place, if you can. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If you can, put on a mask before help arrives. If you are at a shelter or public facility, alert shelter staff right away so they can call a local hospital or clinic.
- Signs: 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. If you are sick and need medical attention, call your healthcare provider first. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about whether you should go to the hospital or cooler location yourself, as you may be putting others or yourself in greater risk for contracting COVID-19. If cramps last more than an hour, seek medical attention. If possible, put on a mask before medical help arrives.
- Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting
- 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. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally
- Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Dizziness, confusion or 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.
- Signs: A combination of cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and sudden loss of taste or smell
- Actions: For severe symptoms, call 9-1-1 and let them know you think you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you can, put on a mask before medical help arrives. If you’re experiencing milder symptoms, consult your medical provider.
- Extreme Heat Information Sheet (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Safety Social Media Toolkit
- Protective Actions Research for Extreme Heat
- National Weather Service Heat Safety Tips and Resources
- National Weather Service – Dangers of Heat
- National Weather Service – Safety During Heat Wave
- National Weather Service Summer Safety Weather Ready Nation Outreach Materials
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Integrated Drought Information System
- National Integrated Heat Health Information System