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How to Stay Safe and Healthy During a Heat Emergency

Updated on July 4, 2013
This is June!
This is June! | Source

Global Warming?

The weather has been changing all over the world. We are experiencing many changes in climate. One of the obvious problems with this, is that many areas are not equiped to handle the new weather extremes they are experiencing. For example: Homes in predominately warm, sunny climates are built to maintain cool, while homes in predominately cold climates are prepared to retain heat. Insulation and roofing are different. This can cause problems when we get unexpected weather conditions.There are certain steps that can be taken if you find yourself in a heat emergency.

Simple Things you can do to Keep Safe during a Heat Emergency

One of the most simple things you can do is to stay tuned to weather reports and alerts. There are many different ways to do this and with all the social media available, there are no excuses not to stay aware of what's happening. Here are more things you can do:

  1. Don't go outside if you don't need to.
  2. Stay hydrated! Make sure you are drinking enough fluids. Drink whether you are thirsty or not.
  3. Make sure your air conditioner, fans, swamp coolers are properly maintained and in good working order.
  4. Make sure your car has gas, radiator fluid, ..... coolants. Fluids evaporate very quickly in this heat
  5. Keep a supply of drinking water in your car and your home.
  6. Do not drink a lot of alcohol. It can dehydrate you.

Stay in and Watch an Oldie but Goody!

I live in the East Valley of Arizona where heat emergencies can happen often. I have been here for four years. Having spent most of my life in Chicago, I was thrilled and excited to be living in this warm and sunny state. Nothing could have prepared me for the intense heat here, though. Temperatures reach over 100 degrees farenheight for an average of 110 days beginning as early as March and ending as late as October (talk about Indian Summer!) Sandwiched in between June and August, you will find an average of 19 days over 110 degrees! Those are the killers....literally.

Why talk about a heat emergency?

We often don't deal with emergencies until we are faced with them. Once we are faced with them, we are not always in the correct frame of mind to make a sensible decision. Just like having fire drills, disaster and storm drills, being forewarned is being forearmed. We may not have control over the weather but we most certainly can have control over how we respond to it.

Who is at Risk in a Heat Emergency?

Everyone is at risk but certain people are a higher risk. Young children and the elderly, as well as overweight and people with serious health problems are more prone to complications from extreme heat. There are also certain medications that don't mix well with heat. You should exercise more caution if they need to be away from an air-conditioned environment.

Different Signs of Heat Illness.

Warning Symptoms
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Rapid, shallow breathing
Excessive sweating
confusion/irrational behavior
cool, moist skin
rapid, shallow pulse
Muscle cramping
nausea or vomiting
dark urine
fever over 104 degrees

What can you do if Someone is Showing Signs of Heat Illness?

  1. Lay them down in a cool place.
  2. Elevate their feet
  3. Apply cool, wet cloths to their skin to lower the body temperature.
  4. Apply cool, wet compresses to their neck, armpits and groin.
  5. If they are alert enough, you can give them sips of a beverage like Gatorade or even better, you can give them sips of salted water. (one teaspoon of salt per quart of water) If you don't have any of these, you can give them plain water. They should be asble to drink about a half a cup every fifteen minutes.
  6. You can gently massage any muscle cramps they are experiencing.
  7. If they are showing signs of shock, loss of consciousness or seizures, call 911 immediately.

And if all else fails, you can always bake cookies!


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    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for stopping by my hub and your great comments and vote. I don't know about you, but I am missing that heat, just a little, right about now!

    • JPSO138 profile image


      5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Very useful tips indeed and I surely agree with them. To much activity during hot weather may lead to heat exhaustion or may lead to heat stroke. Great hub and up for this one.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Abby and Jami...I know I am 3 months late but I just saw your comments.

      Thank you both so much!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you,Audrey!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      So useful! Especially this weekend!

    • livelifeworryfree profile image

      Princess Clark 

      6 years ago from The DMV

      As a former valley girl I can attest you know your stuff! Can't wait until it heats up in Chicago. Thumbs up!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Very useful hub, brtbell. May the heat be upon us! LOL.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol! I agree that it is extremely hot way more than 3 months of the year, especially here in the East Valley! Good to see you here, my friend!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Living in Arizona for many years I know all about heat. The chamber of commerce says it is hot during three months...It is more like 6 months. I had two heat incidents...once riding bicycles in the heat of the day. I think it is important to stay hydrated and avoid as much as possible. Great job as always.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      The weather really is craz, Chris! But I must agree, cookies can cure anything! (and imagine how good your car would smell after!)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Randi, even though in northwest lower Michigan we hit sub zero temperatures in the winter, we still manage to reach high 90s and 100 degrees for a portion of the summer. That is extreme for us and you are so right, we need to be prepared. Cookies cure everything. Up and useful.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Glimmer Twin Fan, thank you for reading and commenting. I am also amazed at how careless people can be. We went for a hike in the mountains today and were reminded of how many people die or become seriously sick each year!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aw, sweet! Today was beautiful, Springlike weatjer. Tomorrow, it is supposed to rain. 7:00 pm AZMountain time. Kitties just finished dinner and we are geting ready to join my daughter for some dinner. I hope you are all 3 doing well and please accept our warm wishes right back at you!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Really useful hub. I am always amazed at how people forget these tips. Every summer on the news there are stories of people dying or getting sick because they did not take care. I had heat exhaustion once and it was not fun.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ...everytime I show up here and see your face, dear Randi, I have a heat emergency.

      And Randi, yes it's true there are 100's of other hub women but you are the only one.

      Sending you , as always , sincere warm wishes from Colin and his cats at lake erie time 12:49pm after night shift sleep and 2nd cup of coffee and bagel with milder spring like weather - although still a month left I would say of late winter yet

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Jamie! I agree with you. The weather is definitely changing. Summers here in Az are getting more drastic! Try that egg! It'll work...better yet, bake some cookies!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      The weather changes are so scary to me. It seems like with each passing year, here in Texas, it gets hotter and hotter in the Summer. Last year I thought about cracking an egg on the sidewalk to see if it would fry! These tips are very useful, thank you for sharing :)

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey kj, thank you so much for stopping by! Those are great tips you have added. It reminds me of another one we did last year. We filled a bowl with ice and put it behind the fan. It distributes "ice" cold air! I have to agree with you....for now...bring on the summer! Let's see what we are saying in August!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Jackie, for stopping by and commenting. It does seem that our weather is getting more and more extreme and some of us just go on doing what we've a;ways done with taking that into account!

    • kj force profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      btrbell..very informative and useful hub...even here in Florida, as hot as it gets, you will see people working in their yard and out playing sports or way to get heat exhaustion !!! just a hint..fill empty jugs with water and keep in your freezer, to use later when weather temp can fill a small childs pool or bath tub..and float the jugs to keep water cool..or even in your swimming pool..also as the ice melts, use to wipe body down..spritz with lemon water also cools and refreshes..just a couple tips..after this cold weather ( 29 - ) summer is starting to sound good...have a great day..enjoyed the hub..thanks

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      hank you, torrilynn for your comment and vote!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carter! I do appreciate your comments, votes and share! Yes, as I told Bill, we'll see him in August! Of course, your summer is the opposite of mine.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill! You always leave the best comments! We may have to come visit sometime in August when we get enough of the 115 degree days!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Good tips, I do worry about these things since it does at times get so hot. I see people out working in heat and it really seems a dangerous chance to take. Let's hope summer won't be as cruel as the winter has been!

    • torrilynn profile image


      6 years ago


      thanks for the tips on staying healthy during a heat emergency.

      i think that people should drink plenty of water and mostly try to stay

      inside of the house if they can help it. thanks again.

      voted up

    • carter06 profile image


      6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      This is a practically great hub btrbell..never too soon to prepare for the heat..we've had some unexpected extreme heat days over here this happens!! Perhaps we should take Billy's advice, right?

      VUUAI & shared..cheers

      PS love the 'if all else fails bit"

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Come to Washington! You will never have to worry about heat again. :)

      Great suggestions and very important to remember the next time a heat wave strikes....just not in Washington.


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