Heat waves can be as challenging and as deadly as any other natural disaster. You can best weather these times through pre-season preparation and the right knowledge.
Heat Wave: Period of extreme heat, usually accompanied by high humidity.
Heat Index: The relative humidity added to the air temperature (how hot it feels).
Heat Cramps: Muscle pains due to exertion (the first sign of heat-related problems).
Heat Exhaustion: A mild form of shock brought on by strenuous activity in the heat.
Heat Stroke: A life-threatening condition occurring when the body’s temperature control system shuts down. Brain damage or death can result if the body is not cooled at once.
During a Heat Wave
- Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible and in the shade if you go outside.
- If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air conditioned mall, library, or other public space.
- Wear sunscreen outside, along with light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty.
- Never leave children or pets alone in the car.
- Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day.
- Take a cool shower or bath.
The following link provides access to the Keep Illinois Cool Website, which allows users to search for nearby Illinois State facility cooling centers: http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx