Heat, Humidity can be deadly
Emergency management officials offer heat
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[July 07, 2016]
SPRINGFIELD – On average, heat
kills more people each year than other weather-related hazards, such
as tornadoes, floods and lightning. To increase awareness about the
dangers of extreme heat, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)
and local emergency management agencies are offering heat safety
tips throughout July to help people stay safe when temperatures
According to the National Weather Service, heat accounted for an
average of 113 fatalities each year from 2006–2015. During that same
period, tornadoes caused an average of 110 deaths each year, while
floods resulted in an annual average of 84 fatalities.
“People often don’t realize how dangerous hot weather can be,” said
IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We want everyone to be aware of the
dangers of extreme heat and what they can do to stay safe and
Joseph said heat-related fatalities can be prevented by taking
precautions when temperatures rise. One of the most important heat
safety tips is to never leave children, elderly people, adults with
disabilities, or pets in parked cars even for a short time.
Temperatures in vehicles rise much faster than many people realize.
Even with the windows slightly open, temperatures inside a vehicle
will rise 30 to 40 degrees in less than 30 minutes. The effects of
hot cars can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at
a faster rate than adults.
Several tragic deaths also have occurred when children got into
vehicles without their parents’ knowledge and then couldn’t get out.
It’s important to always lock car doors and trunks, even at home,
and keep keys out of children’s reach.
Other hot weather tips include:
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 1˝ 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
- 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
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- 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 immediately, as these could be the symptoms of
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).
[Illinois Emergency Management