- Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with humidity.
- Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.
- Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. The first signal that your body is having trouble with the heat.
- Heat Exhaustion: Blood flow to the skin increases, which decreases blood flow to vital organs and creates a form of mild shock. The condition will worsen if it is not treated.
- Heat Stroke: The body's temperature control system stops working and causes brain damage. Death may result in some instances.
- Install air conditioning systems or know where the nearest air conditioned public place is located.
- Check your air conditioning system for proper insulation.
- Cover windows that receive sunlight.
- Keep a large supply of cold water where it is easily accessible.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Listen to local weather forecasts and remain aware of possible upcoming temperature changes.
Extreme Heat-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit
- Cold Water
- Stay indoors and limit sun exposure as much as possible.
- Spend the warmest part of the day in the air conditioning. If you do not have air conditioning, considering going to a public location or cooling center that does.
- Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
- Check on family and friends.
- Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles.
- Remember to give you pet extra water and limit their time outdoors.
- Take frequent breaks from any strenuous work or activity.
- Plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of the day.
- Always wear sunscreen. Sunburn limits your body's ability to dissipate heat.
- Continue to drink water to restore proper hydration.
- Check on neighbors and family to make sure they are not suffering from a heat related illness.
More Information/Additional Resources: http://www.ready.gov/heat