There is hot, and then there is hot! Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
- Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
- Humidity increases the feeling of heat.
Prepare for Extreme Heat
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors specifically designed to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building’s attic by clearing out hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.