Extreme Heat

An extreme heat event is a weather condition with excessive heat and/or humidity that is defined as a day or series of days when the heat index is expected to be approximately 105 degrees or higher; the NWS has issued a heat advisory; or weather/environmental conditions are high enough to cause heat-related illnesses. Anyone can be a victim of a heat-related illness, however, high-risk groups such as children under 5, young athletes, seniors, people with chronic illnesses or functional needs, are more vulnerable to these illnesses and should take extra precautions.

Prevent heat-related illness

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing; use a hat or an umbrella; apply sunscreen if outside.
  • Drink plenty of water; sugary drinks like soda or juice are not as good at cooling your body.
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine to avoid dehydration of the body.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless your doctor told you to take them.
  • Slow down; avoid heavy activity. If you must be active, do it during the coolest part of the day; take regular breaks when active and rest in a cool place.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible; turn on the air conditioning.

Heat exhaustion

A condition characterized by faintness, rapid pulse, nausea, profuse sweating, cool skin, and collapse, caused by prolonged exposure to heat accompanied by loss of adequate fluid and salt from the body.

What to do 

Seek medical attention, if necessary. Get the person to a cool place and have him/her rest in a comfortable position. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths such as sheets or towels. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure he/she drinks slowly. Give a half glass of water every 15 minutes. Watch carefully for changes in his/her condition.

Heat stroke 

A severe condition caused by impairment of the body's temperature-regulating abilities, resulting from prolonged exposure to excessive heat and characterized by cessation of sweating, high fever, severe headache, hot dry skin, and in serious cases collapse and coma.

What to do

Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation. Help is needed FAST! Call 911. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person by putting them in a cool bath or wrapping wet sheets around their body and fan them. Watch for signs of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down. If the victim refuses water, is vomiting, or has fainted, do not give anything to eat or drink.