Be aware of the dangers of extreme heat, and learn how to be safe
Extreme heat is defined as temperatures that are significantly hotter or more humid than what commonly occurs om he region during that time of year.
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.
Who are most at risk?
Infants, young children, senior citizens, and overweight individuals are amongst those most at risk during extreme heat. 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 are also at risk.
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.
Heat Cramps are painful and involuntary muscle spasms that occur during exercise and in hot environments. Heat cramps are usually caused by lack of fluids and loss of electrolytes.
- What to do: cool down the victim, drink fluids rich in electrolytes, and stretch the affected area.
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, and nausea.
- What to do: cool down the victim.
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 very dry skin, no sweating, throbbing, headache, dizziness, nausea.
- What to do: seek immediate medical assistance, begin cooling the victim, do not give the victim any fluids.
Actions You Can Take to Stay Safe
- Wear Sunscreen & Schedule Outdoor Activities
- Drink Plenty of Fluids
- Replace Salt & Minerals
- Air Conditioning & Cooling Centers
Limit outdoor activities to the morning or evening hours when the weather is cooler. Remember to schedule regular breaks when participating in outdoor activities.
You should be drinking two to four glasses of cool fluids every hour when participating in outdoor activities. (Warning: Consult your physician
Sports beverages with electrolytes can be helpful in replacing the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
Air conditioning is the first line of defense against heat related illness. As such, the Office of Emergency Management coordinated 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. residents are encouraged to monitor local news outlets regularly in order to obtain information regarding cooling center openings, hours and locations.