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Heat Exhaustion and heat stroke

Extreme heat can cause serious negative health impacts ranging from dehydration and heat exhaustion to heat stroke and possibly death.

During heat waves, buildings with no indoor cooling systems will continue to get hotter with each passing day, increasing these risks. Heat waves can also lead to water and power outages, and increase our risk of other hazards such as wildfire.

Know the signs of heat illness, and how to respond.

Signs of heat exhaustion

  • Skin rash

  • Heavy sweating

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat

  • Headache

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Muscle cramps

  • Extreme thirst

  • Dark urine and decreased urination

Anyone with these symptoms should be moved to a cool space, given plenty of water to drink, and cooled down with water applied to the skin (e.g. cold shower, submerging body or legs in a cool bath, wearing a wet shirt, applying damp towels to the skin).

Signs of heat stroke

  • High body temperature

  • Fainting or decreased consciousness

  • Confusion

  • Lack of coordination

  • Very hot and red skin

If you think someone might have a heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or seek medical attention immediately. Submerge some or all of the body in cool water, remove clothes and apply wet towels.

Preparing for extreme heat Being prepared can help prevent a heat wave from turning into a heat emergency. Plan ahead to make sure you have the supplies and support you need to stay safe. Being prepared for extreme heat events can help to keep your home cool. It is important to know your options when experiencing an event.

Although individual circumstances may vary, everyone must remember to stay:

  • cool

  • hydrated

  • informed


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