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Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning; older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat; humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

Heat-Related Deaths

The following percentages show various statistics for heat-related deaths in the United States.

Heat-related deaths reported most frequently among males


And adults aged 65 and older


Almost all heat-related deaths occur during May - September


With the highest numbers reported in July


Prepare NOW

  • Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.
  • Keep your home cool by doing the following:  Cover windows with drapes or shades.  Weather-strip doors and windows.  Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.  Add insulation to keep the heat out.  Use attic fans to clear hot air.  Install window air conditioners and insulate around them. 
  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.


  • Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.


  • HEAT CRAMPS -  Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour. 
  • HEAT EXHAUSTION - Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting. Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour. 
  • HEAT STROKE - Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness  Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

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