Extreme Heat or Drought
Actions for Extreme Heat/Drought
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
➤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.
➤Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
➤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.
Before Extreme Heat
➤To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
➤Know those in your neighborhood who are older, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
➤Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
➤Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
➤Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
➤Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
➤Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
➤Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
➤Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
➤Keep storm windows up all year.
Safety Tips If You Must Go 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.