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Stay Informed: Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.

+ How to Respond to Excessive Heat Events

+ Safety Tips for Parents

Even on mild days in the 70s, studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects are more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. A dark dashboard or carseat can quickly reach temperatures in the range of 180°F to over 200°F. These objects heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off long wave radiation, which then heats the air trapped inside a vehicle. Follow these tips to ensure your child's safety.

  • Touch a child's safety seat and safety belt before using it to ensure it's not too hot before securing a child
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down, even for just a minute
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars. They could accidentally trap themselves in a hot vehicle.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks--even at home--and keep keys out of children's reach.
  • Always make sure children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don't leave sleeping infants in the car ever.

+ Community Interventions

If you are a public official, please download the Excessive Heat Event Guidebook for best practices during heat waves and for options that communities can use to develop their own mitigation plans. The Guidebook was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2006, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Homeland Security. Municipal officials in both the U.S. and Canada provided vital information you can use to help the public cope with excessive heat. The Guidebook was designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and other officials plan for and respond to excessive heat events. The guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas and provides a menu of options that officials can use to respond to these events in their communities.

  • Assess locations with vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes and public housing
  • Staff additional emergency medical personnel to address the anticipated increase in demand
  • Shift and expand homeless intervention services to cover daytime hours
  • Open cooling centers to offer relief for people without air conditioning and urge the public to use them.
  • Provide toll-free numbers and Website addresses such as this one for heat exposure symptoms and responses
  • Open hotlines to report concerns about individuals who may be at risk
  • Coordinate broadcasts of excessive heat events response information in newspapers and on television and radio.

+ Heat Safety for Outdoor Workers

Outdoor workers can be at a higher risk to the effects of excessive heat. See Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) resources and recommended practices when working under hot conditions.

  • Drink water often
  • Rest and cool down in the shade during breaks
  • Gradually increase workload and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more
  • Know symptoms, prevention, and emergency response to prevent heat-related illness and death  
  • Check weather forecasts ahead of time to be better prepared.