How to Recognize Heat-Related Illnesses & Stay Cool

Jul 4, 2024 | News, Uncategorized


“I need ideas that don’t cost a lot of money.”

  • Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.
  • Check the weather stripping on doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
  • Have multiple ways to move air and reduce the temperature in your home. Fans create a sense of comfort, but may not be enough to reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.

“I am an older adult.”

  • Do not stay home alone during a summer power outage or an extreme heat event.
  • Make sure a trusted friend or relative has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies and can use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.
  • Drink fluids regularly to avoid getting dehydrated and overheated. Talk to your doctor about whether you need fluids with extra electrolytes in the heat.
  • Be careful with the amount of time you spend outdoors. Take frequent breaks to come back inside, cool off, and drink fluids that don’t have caffeine.

“I work outside.”

  • Make sure you drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration, heat stroke & more.
  • Use cloths or even a T-shirt from the freezer to wear around your neck during extreme heat advisories or warnings.
  • Take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool down.
  • Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.

“I have a health condition that makes the heat really hard on my body.”

  • Work with your support network if you have one – caregivers, neighbors, family and friends – to monitor and address your heat-related needs. Have them check in with you regularly to ensure you are safe and healthy.
  • Read the side effects of medications and talk with your doctor about how heat exposure will interact with them.
  • Keep a cooler and cold packs nearby to help keep refrigerated medicine, like insulin, cool during a power outage.
  • Know the phone numbers and locations for local medical facilities, such as hospitals or nursing homes, to create contingency plans if you cannot access a cooling center, lose power, or need more help.
  • For more tips, go to

“I live somewhere that makes the heat seem worse.”

  • Have an emergency plan that includes the location of cooling shelters and other possible locations with air-conditioning, such as an air-conditioned home of someone from your support network. Plan ahead to coordinate accessible transportation to/from one of these locations.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning but have access to a freezer, place cloths and light items of clothing in there to freeze and then wear them during heat advisories and warnings.
  • Try to stay in shaded areas if you must be outside.
  • Carry water and other liquids with you if you plan to be away from home for a while and will be outside or on public transportation.