NWS Southern Region Headquarters
Heat Wave Safety Rules
About 175 people die in this country every year due to excessive heat. When the Heat Index gets above 90 then it is time to take some precautions:
Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time
of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily
Dress for summer. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your
body maintain normal temperatures.
Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also
increase water loss.
Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink
plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who
have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease,
are on fluid restrictive diets, or
have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their
consumption of fluids.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician. Persons on salt restrictive diets should
consult a physician before increasing their salt intake.
Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly
reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day
(during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
Don't get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.
Know these heat disorder symptoms
Sunburn - Redness and pain. In severe cases swelling of skin, blisters, fever and headaches.
Heat Cramps - Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible. Heavy sweating.
Heat Exhaustion - Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Fainting and vomiting.
Normal temperature possible.
Heat or Sun Stroke - High body temperature (106 or higher). Hot, dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse.