Severe Weather: Extreme Heat

extreme heat CollagePeriods of prolonged heat are not only dangerous, they can be deadly – especially for the young, old and people with compromised immune systems. Below is some vital information from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency to help you keep your cool when the temperature rises.

Local Resources

Before Extreme Heat

resized heat sun summer

  • Learn about the symptoms of heat‐related illness (see below).
  • Install window air conditioners snugly.
  • Insulate around the air conditioner if necessary.
  • Install weather stripping around doors and windows to keep cool air inside the house.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with curtains, shades, blinds, etc.
  • Keep storm windows up all year round.

During Extreme Heat

  • Stay hydrated.
    • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day.Close-up pouring water into glass on a blue background
    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • If you must be outside, wear a hat and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
    • Seek shade or air conditioned buildings (i.e. libraries, malls, cooling centers, etc.) to keep cool.
  • Avoid strenuous, outdoor physical activities.
    • If you must exercise or work outdoors, do so in the morning when temperatures are potentially cooler.
  • Check on your family, friends, and neighbors and make sure they are able to stay cool and hydrated.
    • The elderly, infants, and anyone with chronic health conditions may be more likely to experience heat‐related illness.
  • Do not leave pets or children in the car.
    • It takes only minutes for the temperature inside the car to reach deadly levels.
  • Conserve energy by  keeping the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid rolling blackouts
  • Anyone showing signs of heat stroke (altered mental state, not sweating, nausea) should seek medical attention immediately.

Heat-Related Illness

Heat Cramps

  • Muscle pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion
  • The mildest form of heat-related illness
  • Usually the first sign your body is having trouble keeping cool

Heat Exhaustion

Asheville, North Carolina, USA - August 7, 2010: An overheated, middle aged man shirtless and drenched in sweat, sits outside in summer blotting his head with a paper towel on August 7, 2010 in Asheville, NC

  • Occurs when body is dehydrated from lots of sweating
  • Symptoms include:
    • Heavy Sweating (even though skin may be cool, pale or flushed)
    • Weak Pulse
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Exhaustion
    • Headache
  • Treatment:
    • Lie down in a cool place
    • Loosen or remove clothing
    • Put cool, wet clothes on body
    • Go into air-conditioning if possible
    • Take slow sips of cool water (half a glass every 15 minutes)
    • If vomiting, get medical help

Heat Stroke

  • A life-threatening medical emergency
  • Body can no longer stay cool
  • Can cause brain damage or death
  • Symptoms include:
    • Temperature of 105 or higher
    • Hot, red, dry skin
    • Rapid, weak pulse
    • Shallow breathing
    • No sweating
    • Potential unconsciousness


  • Treatment
    • Call 911
    • Move person to cooler place
    • Remove person’s clothing
    • Use cool (not cold) bath or wet cloth to lower body temperature
    • Use fan or air conditioner to help lower body temperature



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