FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2016
Contact:
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Todd Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, 608-242-3324

State and Local Agencies Encourage Residents to Seek Relief from Dangerous Heat

The Department of Health Services (DHS), local health departments, and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) encourage residents to seek relief from the extreme heat at air conditioned locations in their community. Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect, and the dangerously hot weather we are experiencing is expected to extend over the next few days.

A list of locations where people can cool off will be posted online at the Department of Health Services. Not all counties are represented on this list, so residents seeking to get out of the heat should consider going to places such as malls, libraries, or senior centers, or consider staying with family, friends, or neighbors with air conditioning. State residents can also call 211 for heat-related health and safety information.

During this heat wave, please remember to check on family, friends, and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning and who may be at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, including older adults, very young children, and people with chronic physical or mental health conditions.

Dangerously high temperatures can lead to illness and sometimes death. Seek help if you experience dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea or vomiting. Call 911 for anyone who has symptoms that include hot, dry skin, confusion, chest pains, shortness of breath, or loss of consciousness.

Other tips to keep safe in hot weather include:

  • Never leave individuals, especially children or any pets, in a parked car – even briefly. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.
  • Keep your living space cool. Cover windows to keep the sun from shining in. If you don’t have an air conditioner, open windows to let air circulate. Basements or ground floors are often cooler than upper floors.
  • Slow down and limit physical activity. Plan outings or exertion for the early morning or after dark when temperatures are cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat lightly. Don’t wait for thirst, but instead drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol or caffeine and stay away from hot, heavy meals.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Add a hat or umbrella to keep your head cool, and don’t forget sunscreen. Don’t stop taking medication unless your doctor says you should. Take extra care to stay cool and ask your doctor or pharmacist for any special heat advice.
  • To cool down quickly, take a cool shower or bath. Applying cold wet towels to the neck, head and limbs also cools down the body quickly.

For more tips on how to stay cool and safe during a heat wave, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/climate/weather/heat.htm.

Additional health and safety tips can be found at: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/.