There is hot, and then there is HOT! Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. Extreme heat can make people very sick, even perfectly healthy adults.
Seniors, pregnant women, infants, and people with medical conditions are at a greater risk. We are each other’s best line of defense in a weather emergency! If extreme heat warnings are in effect check on your neighbors.
Hot weather can also cause utility disruptions or bad weather. So, be sure to charge up necessary electronics regularly when the heat spikes!
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Words to Know
Take Action! An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
Take Action! A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don't take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Be Aware! The outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead-time to prepare for the event.
- Check the forecast. Before making plans, check your local forecast to see if there’s an excessive heat advisory. An excessive heat warning is issued up to a day before extremely dangerous heat conditions start. An excessive heat watch is issued when conditions are favorable for excessive heat in the next 24 to 72 hours. A heat advisory is issued within 12 hours before dangerous heat conditions are expected.
- Never leave pets or people in a car. Did you know when it’s only 80 degrees, your car’s interior can reach 118 degrees in just 20 minutes? Leaving anyone in a parked car on warm days is dangerous. Infants and children are especially in danger of getting a heat stroke or dying.
- Drink water. Keep you and your pets hydrated. Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Find air conditioning. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Keep in mind while electric fans may provide comfort, when the temperature is in the high 90s they will not prevent heat-related illness.
- Keep your house cool. You can keep your house cooler by insulating it and covering your windows with drapes or shades. Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.
- Dress appropriately and wear sunscreen. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing loose, lightweight, light-colored clothes. a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Putt on a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going outside during the day. Sunscreen wears off, so be sure to reapply it every two hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Avoid strenuous activities. High heat and outdoor activities don’t always mix well. Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest: morning and evening hours. Take frequent breaks in shady areas so your body has a chance to recover.
- Check on your family and friends. Older adults, children and people with chronic medical conditions are at high risk from heat related injury and death.
- Eat light. Hot, heavy meals add heat to your body.
- Know the signs of heat related illness.
- National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
- US Drought Monitor
- US Economic Costs of Drought
All plans or recommendations contained herein are flexible and subject to change, based on the nature of the emergency. It is always important to follow the official guidance or orders of state, county and local officials at the time of an emergency.