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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:

  1. Stay Aware | Listen to local weather forecasts to stay updated on upcoming temperature changes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Emergency Kit | Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit in case a power outage occurs.
  5. 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:

  1. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  2. Stay hydrated by consistently consuming fluids, avoid caffeine or alcohol.
  3. Eat small meals more frequently.
  4. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  5. Avoid wearing dark clothing because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  6. 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!