SPRINGFIELD – July is National Extreme Heat Safety Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) has some easy tips to keep you cool.
“Illinois has many days of sweltering high heat including several 100-degree days,” explained IEMA-OHS Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Know the differences and prevent heat cramps, heat illness, and heat stroke.”
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Extreme heat is defined as two to three days of heat and humidity with successive 90+ degree days. In July 1995, a heat wave contributed to more than 700 deaths in the Chicago area.
Illinois State Climatologist believe that typically over 300 people die from heat every year. Heat is responsible for the highest number of deaths every year from weather-related hazards in Illinois.
Extreme heat safety awareness tips include:
- About 40 percent of unwanted heat buildup in homes is through windows
- Use awnings or curtains to deflect the sun
- Fans will move air around, but does not lower your temperature
- Use air conditioning inside your home or visit a store or local mall
- Urban homes are more at risk of extreme heat, so know your local cooling centers
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, and lightweight clothing
- Avoid strenuous activity during mid-day
- Hydrate with water, not caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
- Never leave children or pets in a vehicle
- Get trained in first aid to help when someone is suffering from heat illness
These habits will keep you stay safe and help others too. Check on neighbors, friends, family, and elderly who are more vulnerable to extreme heat. And learn the differences between a heat watch vs heat warning (NWS).
More tips on extreme heat safety can be found here:
Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS): www.Ready.Illinois.gov
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