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WHAT TO DO WHEN HEAT WAVES STRIKE

picture of sun


  • Increase Your Intake of Non-Alcoholic, Non-Carbonated, Caffeine Free Beverages Such as Water and Juice.
  • Wear Clothing That is Light in Color and Loose Fitting.
  • Avoid The Outdoors During Extreme Heat. Stay Out of the Sun.
  • Stay in an Air-Conditioned Environment if Possible. Shopping Malls Offer Relief if Your Home is not Air-Conditioned.
  • Check On The Elderly. They are Especially Susceptible to Heat Related Illness.
  • Eliminate Strenuous Activity Such as Running, Biking and Lawn Care Work When it Heats Up.
  • Eat Less Foods That Increase Metabolic Activity/Heat. Proteins are an Example. Increased Metabolic Heat Increases Water Loss.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES AND THEIR SYMPTOMS

SUNBURN - Redness and pain in the skin. In severe cases there is also swelling, blisters, fever, and headaches.

HEAT CRAMPS - Heavy sweating and painful spasms usually in the leg or abdomen muscles.

HEAT EXHAUSTION - The person becomes weak and is sweating heavily. The skin is cold, pale and clammy. The pulse becomes thready. Fainting and vomiting accompanies heat exhaustion.

HEATSTROKE/SUNSTROKE - High body temperature (106 degrees or higher) along with hot dry skin and a rapid and strong pulse. Unconsciousness is possible


THE HEAT INDEX

This is the opposite of "wind chill". The Heat Index combines the effects of heat and humidity. Warm temperatures feel even warmer when it is humid.

HEAT INDEX VALUES AND THEIR EFFECTS...ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE AT HIGHER RISK...
The Heat Index Chart

80 to 90 degrees - Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.

90 to 105 degrees - Sunstroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and or physical activity.

105 to 130 degrees - Sunstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely, and heatstroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.

130 degrees and higher - Heatstroke/sunstroke highly likely with continued exposure.


National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Baltimore/Washington
43858 Weather Service Rd.
Sterling, VA 20166
Phone: (703) 996-2200
Webmaster: lwxwebmaster@noaa.gov
Page last modified: January 24, 2006 3:50 PM
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