Safety Tips to Stay Cool During Extreme Heat

What to Do Before a Heat Wave Hits

When temperatures start to increase, it is important that you and your family are well prepared to prevent the negative effects of extreme heat – heat exhaustion. Taking these simple steps before a heat wave strikes, can help keep you and your family safe.

Here are a few steps you can take to prepare for extreme heat and prevent heat exhaustion.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important ways to prevent heat-related illness. The average person needs to drink three-quarters of a gallon to a gallon of fluids daily. If you are on certain medications or have certain medical conditions, it may be necessary to drink more water. Consult your healthcare provider if you are not sure.

  • Eat snacks and meals throughout the day to maintain electrolyte levels and replace salt lost from sweating.
  • Refrain from drinking caffeinated, sugary and alcoholic drinks.

Gather Water and Emergency Supplies

Gathering food, water and medicine is another way you can plan in advance for extreme heat. Organize the supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit.

  • A Go-Kit holds 3 days of supplies that can easily be carried on the go.
  • A Stay-at-Home Kit houses 2 weeks of supplies if you need to stay at home.
  • Keep a 1-month supply of medications in a child-proof container.
  • Keep financial, personal and medical records safe.

Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

  • Use drapes or shades to cover windows.
  • Use weather strips on doors and windows to avoid hot air entering your home.
  • Window reflectors, such as cardboard covered in aluminum foil, can help to reflect the heat back outside.
  • Insulate your home to keep heat out.
  • Use an attic fan or ventilator to control the level of heat in your attic by clearing out hot air.
  • Install and insulate window air conditioner units.

Plan to Go to a Cool Place

Ensure that you are able to spend a few hours daily in air conditioning. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, locate a place where you can go to take a break from the sun.

  • Contact a friend, family member or neighbor who has air conditioning.
  • Contact your local public library or shopping mall to see if they are open.
  • Reach out to community leaders to see if there are plans to open public cooling centers.