CHICAGO, IL – With some of the hottest days of the season forecast for later this week in our area, FEMA Region 5 wants everyone to get #SummerReady and take low- or no-cost steps to be ready and stay safe before temperatures climb.
“Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards,” said FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Tom Sivak. “Taking simple steps to protect yourself isn’t just smart, it could save your life.”
Extreme heat events are periods of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. Keep in mind these 10 tips to stay safe when these events occur:
Limit your time outdoors and stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can. Go to a public place like the library, museum or shopping mall if you don’t have A/C at home.
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.
Roughly 40% of unwanted heat buildup in our homes is through windows. Use awnings, curtains or other window coverings to keep the heat out and check the weather stripping on doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, along with a hat and sunscreen when outdoors.
Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you. Older adults, individuals with chronic medical conditions and children are at greater risk from these dangerously high temperatures.
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses. You can find a list here: Extreme Heat | Ready.gov. If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately.
Never leave children or pets in cars.
Check the local news for health and safety updates.
In late June, for the first time in FEMA history, the agency announced its #SummerReady” campaign to help promote preparedness and resilience against extreme heat events throughout the summer. The announcement included the launch of FEMA’s official #SummerReady website, which provides extreme heat safety tips for individuals, as well as helpful information and graphics for media and other stakeholders.