HEAT WAVE Safety Ideas


Iowa Heat Awareness Day - June 5, 2014

Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day - June 12, 2014

Excessive heat can lead to serious illness and death unless precautions are exercised to prevent these dangers.  When heat is forecast, especially if it is a prolonged heat spell, do not take risks and follow these safety tips to stay safe.  Remember, those most at risk of heat related illness or death include small children, the elderly, and those who work outside.

BEFORE the heat strikes:

  • Listen to weather forecasts and upcoming temperature changes.  A HEAT ADVISORY is typically issued in our area when the air temperature is expected to reach 95 deg F or higher, or when the heat index reaches 100 deg F or higher.  An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING is used when heat index values are expected to hit 105 deg F or higher.
  • Determine locations where you can seek air conditioning or relief from the heat.
  • Ensure animals are prepared with shade and plenty of water.

DURING a heat wave:

  • Monitor temperatures and heat indicies.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle - "Beat the Heat...Check the Backseat".
  • Take frequent breaks from the heat.  Seek out air conditioning or a cooling shelter.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Check on family members, pets, and animals.

Seek out medical attention for any heat-related symptoms.

  • Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen.  This can be an early sign that trouble is developing.
  • Heat exhaustion can lead to cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating, headaches, nausea or dizziness from a loss of body fluids.
  • Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition where a person's body temperature control system stops.  This might include signs of hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, vomiting and a high body temperature.  Call 9-1-1 or a local emergency number immediately.

Other useful links for heat safety and climatology include:

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.