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Heat Waves

Heat can kill! Heat can push the human body beyond its limits. 

In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation slows and the body 

must work extra hard to maintain its normal temperature.

Most heat disorders occur when the person has been overexposed 

to heat or has over-exercised for his age and physical condition. 

Older adults, young children, those who are sick or overweight 

are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.

Conditions that can cause heat-related illness include stagnant 

atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. 

People living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects 

of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. 

Asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, 

which can produce higher nighttime temperatures. 

This is known as the "urban heat island effect".

Terms Connected to Extreme HeatHeat Index

♦ A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tell how hot it really feels 

when relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature.

♦ Exposure to full sun can increase the heat index by 15 degrees F.

Heat Wave

♦ A prolonged period of excessive heat and humidity.

♦ The National Weather Service steps up its procedures to alert the public during these periods.

Heat Cramps

♦ Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that are due to heavy exertion.

♦ Heat cramps are the least severe stage. 

They signal the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat Exhaustion

♦ Heat exhaustion usually occurs when people work in hot and/or humid places 

where body fluids are lost through profuse sweating. 

It can also occur with heavy exercise.

♦ Blood flow to the skin increases which causes the blood flow to decrease to the vital organs, resulting in a mild form of shock.

♦ If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion leads to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

Heat Stoke is Life Threatening!

♦ A person's temperature control system stops working. 

This system controls the body's ability to cool the body by sweating.

♦ The body's temperature can rise to a level so high it can cause brain damage.

♦ Death can result if the body is not cooled properly in a timely manner.


Sunstroke is another way of saying Heat Stroke.

Before a Heat Wave

Prepare your Home

♦ If you have an air conditioning system, have the company come 

and check to make sure it is working properly. 

Have them change the filter is necessary and check the ducts for proper insulation.

♦ Install window air conditioning units snuggly and insulate them if necessary.

♦ Remember that hot air rises, so cool and stay on the lower levels of your home.

♦ Install ceiling fans. The more blades the fan has, the more air movement there is.

♦ Use fans. 

Fans do not cool the air, but the air movement helps sweat evaporate, thus cooling the body.

♦ Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.

♦ Make temporary window heat reflectors. 

Cover cardboard templates with aluminum foil (shiny side out). 

Place them between windows and drapes to reflect the heat away from the house.

♦ Weather strip all doors and windowsills to keep the cool air inside, and hot air outside.

♦ Cover your windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. 

Pull your drapes or shades. 

Outdoor awnings or shutters can reduce the heat that comes into the house by up to 80 percent.

♦ Keep your storm window on all year.

♦ Turn off any appliances that emit excessive heat.

♦ Replace old light bulbs with energy efficient ones.

♦ Take a CPR/First Aid class.

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