Prepare For Extreme Heat

Know what to do when the temperature rises to triple digits.

Triple-digit heat is a fact of life in the Mid-South. Heat can be deadly, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms of heat disorders as well as how to prevent them. When extreme hot temperatures are forecasted, follow these preparedness tips.

Five simple steps:

  • If you must be outdoors, plan your activities for either early morning or in the evening. Get frequent shade and take rest breaks to give your body’s thermostat a chance to recover. Be aware that once the sun goes down, the temperature often does not.
  • Wear cool, loose-fitting clothing that is light colored to reflect heat and sunlight and make sure everyone wears a large-brimmed hat to protect head and face.
  • Drink plenty of water! Remember to always pack enough water with you. Avoid alcoholic beverages as they can cause dehydration.
  • Keep your pets indoors, if possible. If pets must stay outdoors, provide plenty of fresh water and access to a shady or cooler place.
  • If, at any time, you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint, STOP all activity and get into a cool or shaded area. Notify 9-1-1 immediately if you believe a family member is overheated. Monitor their body temperature while you wait for help.

Other steps:

  • NEVER leave infants, children or animals in a parked vehicle for ANY amount of time.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF rating. However, it is always best to avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time.
  • Close blinds or curtains over windows that receive direct sun.
  • Electricity use may lead to shortages during triple-digit heat. Limit your use of major appliances (washer & dryer, dishwasher, oven, etc.) during extreme heat to conserve energy and keep your house cool.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, try to visit a shopping mall, movie theater or a community library for a few hours.
  • Cool showers and cool baths are an effective way to cool off.
  • Plan well-balanced light meals. Hot foods add heat to your home and to your body.
  • Always check on friends, neighbors or family members you know to be elderly or housebound. If you are homebound, ask someone to check in on you.
  • Use a sunshade to lower the temperature inside your auto.
  • Pet owners: Limit exercising your pets to the early morning or early evening hours during hot and humid weather. Pets can become easily dehydrated.