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After a Heat Advisory

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  • Check on the elderly, people with chronic medication conditions, and pets.
  • Adjusting to temperature changes may be especially hard for them; so be alert to their special needs. Be prepared for first aid treatments of heat-induced illnesses.
  • Use the chart below to help determine the physical impact of a heat advisory:






  • Skin redness and pain.
  • Possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches.
  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.
  • Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention. Do not break blisters.

Heat Cramps

Muscular pains and spasms that are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

  • Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Get the victim to a cooler location.
  • Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.
  • Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)
  • Do not administer salt tablets.
  • Check for signs of heat stroke or exhaustion. Discontinue liquids, if victim is nauseated.

Heat Exhaustion

When body fluids are lost through heavy sweating, blood flow to the skin increases, causing a decrease in blood flow to vital organs. A form of mild shock results. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.

  • Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed.
  • Weak pulse.
  • Normal body temperature is possible, but temperature will likely rise.
  • Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.
  • Get victim to lie down in a cool place.
  • Loosen or remove clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet clothes.
  • Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place.
  • Give sips of water if victim is conscious. Be sure water is consumed slowly.
  • Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Discontinue water if victim is nauseated.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.

Heat Stroke or “Sun Stroke”

A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweat to cool the body, stops working. If the body is not cooled quickly, body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result.

  • High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing.
  • Victim will probably not sweat unless victim was sweating from recent strenuous activity.
  • Possible unconsciousness.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Use extreme caution. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move victim to a cooler environment.
  • Removing clothing.
  • Use fans and air conditioners.
  • Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.
  • Watch for breathing problems. Administer CPR if the person becomes unconscious.

For more information on heat advisories, see: