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Emergency Preparedness

Personal Emergency Preparedness Topics

July: Heat Emergencies

Extreme Heat Emergencies: Beware the Critical Days of Summer 

As the summer months are upon us, it is time to start thinking about the dangers associated with extreme heat conditions. Over the last 30 years, more people have died as a result of heat emergencies that other natural disasters combined.

Very high body temperatures can injure the brain other vital organs, and occur when the body’s natural cooling abilities are compromised. In addition to the heat, factors such as humidity, age, medical conditions, exercise, and medications can predispose someone to a heat related emergency.

Heat related death and illnesses are preventable. Drinking fluids, wearing appropriate clothing, regulating activity, staying indoors and identifying high risk individuals are a few of the steps you can take for yourself, your loved ones, and even your pets.

Preparation and Response

In cases of Extreme Heat conditions, check back to this website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, access the other resources listed on this page, and check local government and media sources for more up to date information.

Know the Difference

  • Heat Wave - a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity. During a heat wave temperatures are generally 10 or more degrees above the regional average high during summer months.
  • Excessive Heat Watch - Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
  • Excessive Heat Warning - Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs = 105°--110° Fahrenheit).
  • Heat Advisory - Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs = 100°--105° Fahrenheit).

For Your Consideration

Use this Heat Wave Safety Checklist to be prepared and stay safe during extremely high temperatures. Also, check out these tips for preventing heat-related illness from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).