Emergency Preparedness Article 6: Extreme Heat

As we continue into August, high temperatures call for caution. Extreme heat requires taking steps to protect yourself and those around you. Namely, older adults, children, and individuals with health concerns are all at greater risk from extreme heat (“Extreme Heat”). This coming week, we are likely to experience high temperatures and we have highlighted a few important tips to consider.

When experiencing high heat:

  • Find air conditioning if available, such as malls or libraries. If going to a public space, be sure to research and follow all local and state health orders related to COVID-19.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Pace yourself when outside and avoid strenuous activities, such as running in the middle of the day and at peak temperatures.
  • If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising outside, start slowly and proceed with caution. If you are working, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration created an app known as the “Health Safety Tool.” This helpful tool allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their specific worksite. From the determined heat index, the tool will display the risk level for outdoor workers (“Heat Safety Tool”). If you are interested in learning more about this beneficial resource, follow this link here.
  • Wear light clothing and remember to put on sunscreen! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes how sunburns affect your body’s ability to cool down and can even make you more dehydrated. (“Hot Weather Tips”).
  • Drink plenty of fluids and if you have pets, keep them hydrated as well. · Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Ready.gov emphasizes the importance of recognizing and responding to heat-related illness. Take the time to learn the signs so you can adequately respond if necessary. For more information, follow the link here.
  • Never leave people or pet in a closed car. The National Weather Service has put together a list of tips for parents when temperatures are high. (“During a Heat Wave”).

As with other weather and disaster preparedness in general, it is important for individuals to look for updates and keep communications current. Individuals in Colorado are encouraged to monitor a variety of information sources. This may include emergency services websites, warning sirens, alert systems, and media outlets. Along with this, individuals can seek information from local information sources. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has compiled a list of county-level emergency management websites, telephone, emails, and SMS/txt alert systems in Colorado. If you are interested in finding your local government sources, click here.

Sources:

“During a Heat Wave” (National Weather Service)

“Extreme Heat” (Ready.gov)

“Heat Safety Tool” (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

“Local Info Sources” (Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

“Hot Weather Tips” (Center of Disease Control and Prevention)

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