What to do in wake of a heat wave
Recently, excessive heat has caused more deaths than many other natural disasters. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat. This is characterized by temperatures being 10 degrees or more above average, combined with excessive humidity. If you are notified of a heat wave in your area, here are a few ways to prepare:
- Stay Aware | Listen to local weather forecasts to stay updated on upcoming temperature changes.
- Watch the Heat Index | The heat index is the temperature that the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. This is just as important as the temperature.
- Make a Plan | Talk to the members of your household about where they plan to spend their time, explain heat safety precautions, and prepare them for power outages.
- Emergency Kit | Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit in case a power outage occurs.
- Alternative Housing | Identify places you could go to for relief from the heat if you do not have air conditioning.
Preparing before a heat wave is important, but it’s just as important to know what to do during one:
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by consistently consuming fluids, avoid caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals more frequently.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Avoid wearing dark clothing because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.
A heat wave can be very scary if you do not handle yourself responsibly, and you could be susceptible to some heat-related conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. To avoid these conditions, stay hydrated and stay indoors!