Emergency Management Officials Urge Caution
When Temperatures Rise
Offer safety tips to help people beat the heat
SPRINGFIELD – The hottest days of summer are just around the corner, and
the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management
agencies are offering heat safety tips to help people play it safe when
"Warm weather is a welcomed relief after the long, cold winter we endured
this year," said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. "But summertime comes with its
own hazards, many related to excessive heat. We want to help people avoid these
risks and enjoy a fun, safe summer."
Joseph said one of the most important safety tips when temperatures rise
is to never leave children, elderly people, disabled adults or pets in parked
cars, even for a short time. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise
to dangerous levels even if the windows are slightly open, and can lead to
brain damage or death. The effects can be more severe on children because their
bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.
"Twenty years ago a heat wave led to the deaths of more than
1,000 people in the Midwest during a single week. The July 1995 heat wave
tragically demonstrated that heat and humidity are a deadly combination," said
Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather
Service in Lincoln. "Hot and humid conditions put a lot of stress on the
human body and can lead to serious health conditions such as heat exhaustion,
heat stroke or even death."
Hot weather tips include:
Always lock car doors and trunks, even at home, and keep keys out of children's reach.
Stay hydrated by drinking at least 1½ to 2 quarts of fluids daily, even if you don't feel thirsty.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine.
Avoid overexertion and strenuous outdoor activities if possible.
Take advantage of cooling centers, public pools and air-conditioned stores and malls during periods of
extreme heat. Even a few hours a day in air conditioning can help prevent heat-related illnesses.
Don't forget your pets. Offer pets extra water and place the water bowl in a shaded area if outdoors. Make
sure pets have a shady refuge where they can escape direct sun exposure.
If you or someone around you begins experiencing dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion and a rapid pulse, seek medical
attention immediate, as these could be the symptoms of heatstroke.
Additional tips on how to protect yourself and others from heat-related illnesses are
available on the state's Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov).