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Ready for Anything: Heat Wave Preparedness

With summer right around the corner, it’s important to pay attention to the temperature and weather forecast when engaging in outdoor activities. Prepare for heat waves by reviewing the information below, as well as our previous articles on heat-related illness and working outdoors in warm climates. taken from our Ready for Anything flipbook. If you would like to order a copy for your district, visit our website.

IMPORTANT TERMS

Heat wave: A prolonged period of extreme heat
Heat Index: A number given in degrees (F or C) that tells you how hot it feels

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Install air conditioners or heat pumps
  • Have plenty of water on hand
  • Ensure generators, HVAC, refrigeration and similar equipment is in top condition
  • Ensure insulation and weather stripping are in good condition
  • Install window reflectors during summer
  • Stay inside as much as possible, on the lowest floor of your structure
  • Stay hydrated and eat balanced meals
  • Dress as lightly as possible and appropriate for your place of business
  • Never leave children or pets unsupervised
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor work in the hottest part of the day

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS FIRST AID

Sunburn: Skin redness and pain, may include swelling, blisters, fever and headache
Treatment: Shower with soap, use dry sterile dressing and seek medical attention for blisters

Heat Cramps: Painful spasms in abdomen and legs usually following physical exertion in high temperature settings
Treatment: Get to a cool location, try to gently massage muscles, give small amounts of water (no alcohol or caffeine) but discontinue liquids if the person becomes nauseous

Heat Exhaustion: Heavy sweating may look pale or flushed, fainting, dizzy, nausea/vomiting, headache
Treatment: Get to cool location, apply cool wet cloths, lie down, loosen clothing, slowly consume small sips of water every 15 minutes unless nauseous, if vomiting occurs seek medical attention

Heat Stroke: A life-threatening medical condition exhibiting high body temperature, body red dry skin, rapid shallow breathing, may not be sweating, possibly unconscious
Treatment: Call 911, delay can be fatal; move victim to cool area, remove clothing and bathe in cool water, watch for breathing problems and deliver CPR as directed by the 911 operators while you await assistance from EMTs

Note: Never attempt to give water or other liquids to an unconscious person

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