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Homeland Security

Extreme Heat

As residents of Florida, sunshine is one of our greatest natural assests, it can also be one of our biggest liabilities. The combination of heat and humidity can be a health risk even to those used to warm weather.

According to the National Weather Service, "Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. Among the large continental family of natural hazards, only the cold of winter - not lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes - takes a greater toll. In the 40-year period from 1936 to 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died.

Hot Weather Safety Tips

  • Do not leave children or pets in an unattended vehicle, even for a few minutes.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat low calorie foods.
  • Stay out of the sun, and in an air-conditioned place, especially during the heat of the day.
  • Slow down. Restrict strenuous activities to the cooler time of day.
  • Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothes.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid sun burn. Consider wearing a hat.
  • During prolonged heat episodes, check on elderly family, friends and neighbors.

Know These Heat Disorder Symptoms

  • Sunburn
  • Heat Cramps
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Stroke
Redness and pain. In severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, headaches.
First Aid
Ointment for mild cases if blisters appear. If breaking occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious, extensive cases should be seen by a physician.
Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen possible. Heavy sweating.
First Aid
Firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use.
Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Pulse thready. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomitimg.
First Aid
Get victim out of sun. Lay down and loosen clothing. Apply cool wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air conditioned room. Sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue use. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
High body temperature (106°F, or higher). Hot dry skin. Rapid and strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness.
First Aid
Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal ... Move the victim to a cooler environment. Reduce body temperature with cold bath or sponging. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing, use fans and air conditioners. If temperature rises again, repeat process. Do not give fluids.





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