Signs of a Heat Emergency

If a Heat Wave is Predicted or Happening

  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 - 7 a.m.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Your body needs water to keep cool.
  • Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Signs of a Heat Emergency

Heat Exhaustion

Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Body temperature will be near normal
  • Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Heavy sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting

Heat Stroke

  • Body temperature can be very high - sometimes as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Hot, red skin
  • If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet otherwise, it will feel dry
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse