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Extreme Heat Porterville College

Definitions

Excessive Heat Warning

Criteria for an Excessive Heat Warning is a heat index of 105 °F or greater that will last for 2 hours or more. Excessive Heat Warnings are issued by county when any location within that county is expected to reach criteria. For example: If you expected the heat index to reach 105°F in the city of Porterville, an Excessive Heat Warning would be issued for that zone.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.

Remember:

  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
  • Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
  • Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.
Stay Safe Campaign

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

How to stay safe when extreme heat threatens

Prepare Now

Try to keep your home cool:

  • Cover windows with drapes or shades.
  • Weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.
  • Add insulation to keep the heat out.
  • Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building’s attic by clearing hot air.
  • Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.

Be Safe During

Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.

Find a cooling shelter in your community

Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.

If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face. Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothing.

Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor what would be best.

Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees. You could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.

Avoid high-energy activities. Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat related illness.

Recognize & Respond

Know the signs and ways to treat heat related illness.

During heat waves people are susceptible to three heat-related conditions. Here’s how to recognize and respond to them.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area.
  • Give an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as a commercial sports drink, fruit juice or milk. Water may also be given. Do not give the person salt tablets.
Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Heat exhaustion often affects athletes, firefighters, construction workers and factory workers. It also affects those wearing heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment.

  • Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes. Milk or water may also be given. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes.
  • If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning.

  • Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures.
  • Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
  • Rapidly cool the body by immersing the person up to the neck in cold water, if possible OR douse or spray the person with cold water.
  • Sponge the person with ice water-doused towels over the entire body, frequently rotating the cold, wet towels.
  • Cover the person with bags of ice.
  • If you are not able to measure and monitor the person’s temperature, apply rapid cooling methods for 20 minutes or until the person’s condition improves.
Stay Safe Campaign

Everyone can be affected by hot weather and it is important that you take care whenever the temperatures start to rise. A heatwave over a period of days, or even a single day of extreme heat, may cause illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.

It's important to stay aware of the weather during summer, especially when there are risks of heat waves.

This presentation is brought to you by Porterville College Campus Safety & Security. Please contact us if you are in need of assistance.

PC Campus Safety & Security 559-791-2440

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Created By
Todd Dearmore
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