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Emergency Family Preparedness - Weather Related Extreme Heat
Risk of Heat Cramps, Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke
Extreme heat is more than an issue of discomfort. Heat forces the body into overdrive as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation. Most heat-related deaths are preventable if people are aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death.
The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. The effects of extreme heat can undermine physical well-being so slowly and subtly that the dangers aren't apparent until it's too late.
Temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature and last for several weeks are defined as extreme heat conditions.
Source: The Weather Channel and Washoe County Emergency Management - readywashoe.com
Suggestions to Protect Yourself and Others from Extreme Heat
- Stay indoors. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest level out of the sun.
- Drink plenty of water. People with medical conditions should consult their doctors before significantly increasing their water intake.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages or beverages that contain large amounts of sugar- these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Dress in loose fitting, lightweight and light colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face and head.
- Avoid too much sunshine and use sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
- Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities. Get plenty of rest and allow your natural "cooling system" to work.