Heat Related Illnesses
Individuals are subject to heat related injuries when their body is unable to cool itself and compensate for heat exposure. Heat related illness is preventable. Individuals should be aware of steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe during extreme heat events.
Air Conditioning & Cooling Centers
Air conditioning is the first line of defense against heat related illness. As such, the Office of Emergency Management coordinates the opening of Cooling Centers during extreme heat events.
Cooling Centers are air condition facilities which residents can patronize in order to stay cool. The Office of Emergency Management also facilitates the transportation of senior citizens and persons with disabilities through the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging. Resident are encouraged to monitor local news outlets regularly in order to obtain information regarding cooling center openings, hours and locations.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drink 2-4 glasses of cool fluids each hour. (Warning: Consult with your physician is you have been instructed to limit your fluid intake.)
Replace Salt & Minerals
Sports beverages can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
Wear Sunscreen & Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully
Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours when the weather is cooler and take regular breaks.
Monitor Those at High Risk
Infants, young children and senior citizens, overweight individuals, those who may easily become dehydrated due to their work or exercise and those with chronic illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Heat Stroke is the most common heat related illness. It occurs when the body looses the ability to regulate its temperature.
- Warning Signs: extremely high body temperature, red, hot and dry skin, no sweating, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea.
- What to Do: seek immediate medical assistance, begin cooling the victim, do not give victim any fluids.
Heat exhaustion is a milder heat related illness that can occur after several days of heat exposure combined with inadequate fluid intake.
- Warning Signs: heavy sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, headache, nausea.
- What to Do: cool down the victim.
Excessive Heat Warning
- Three consecutive days with a maximum heat index 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with at least 85% sunshine on two of the days, or minimum heat index of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or greater each day
- Two consecutive days with the maximum heat index of 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1 day with the maximum heat index of 110 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.